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quietearth [Celluloid 12.10.08] movie news scifi



While unfortunately the only news I could find on this was a brief mention in Variety I'm making the automatic assumption that the plans are to adapt the 100 page novella in this collection of short stories of the same name as the book. For those who've missed out recently, Murphy's directorial debut feature White Lightnin' will be premiering at Sundance (stills here) and from what little I've seen it looks fantastic. Further news is that he's already got a whole slate of film projects in the works, one of them being The State of the Art which is about aliens visiting Earth to kind of help out and seems to ultimately be about social commentary.

Here's a little slice from wikipedia:
The novella chronicles an advanced alien culture mission to Earth and is partly about Sma who argues for contact with Earth, to try and fix the mess the human species has made of it; Linter goes native, choosing to renounce his Culture body enhancements so as to be more like the locals; and Li (who is a Star Trek fan), argues that the whole "incontestably neurotic and clinically insane species" should be eradicated with a micro black hole. The Arbitrary (ship) has ideas, and a sense of humour, of its own.


'Also while I'd been away, the ship had sent a request on a postcard to the BBC's World Service, asking for 'Mr David Bowie's "Space Oddity" for the good ship Arbitrary and all who sail in her.' (This from a machine that could have swamped Earth's entire electro-magnetic spectrum with whatever the hell it wanted from somewhere beyond Betelgeuse.) It didn't get the request played. The ship thought this was hilarious.'


Admittedly that's not the best of descriptions, but that's what I could find and I feel lazy right now. Let's hope it gets made, just for the sentient ship humor!

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

Awesome, but unfilmable. I've loved this novella for almost fifteen years. Call me cynical, but it's to smart for the big screen, I fear. Also the budget would have to be in the hundred million or so league to be at all credible.

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Snafu (8 years ago) Reply

The book is about the Contact section of The Culture, a Pan-human/Machines superpowerful and superfun civilization finding Earth and, while doing their thing and visiting every interesting place on it to get the picture, discussing if it ought to be overtly Contacted or be left alone as a non-contact test case (just to be elegant about the whole Contacting thing). Lots of witty characters and smart dialogue, real fun. Not at all demanding VFX-wise, really, but it would need quite a lot of location shooting (Paris, Berlin, New York, etc.).

The tone is the thing: will they get it right?

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

What I mean to say is, the sheer number of VFX shots that would be needed would put it into that catagory, And I don't think that that kind of money would be spent. As to the tone, I'm sure they'll manage to insert a car chase somewhere, and they will for def set it in a modern timeframe. It. Would. Suck.

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zakalwe (8 years ago) Reply

No Need for a car chase, Sma lands in car doesn't she? a la Heavy Metal? I dont think this is unfilmable or even expensive in cgi cos its a very character driven story but the films Id liek to see/ make are Against a Dark Background and Use Of Weapons; but its a good way to introduce the Culture

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

Ok the car chase comment was a little cheap, I admit.


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