What if an alien in the future stumbled upon Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Matt Damon
Director: Christopher Nolan
Production Co: Legendary Pictures, Syncopy, Lynda Obst Productions
Written by: Ben Steiner
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Producer & Additional Artwork by: Jacob S. Salamon
Interstellar’s Hidden Meaning – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Interstellar, produced by SyncopyFilms co-founder Emma Thomas and directed by her baby daddy.The film takes place on Earth during the 21st century, right after Hurricane Sandy. Matthew McConaissance plays Cooper, a family human who lives in a haunted house. But when the ghost gives him a set of coordinates, he discovers a secret NASA station run by his old butler, Alfred. I mean Dr. Brand.Brand wastes no time bragging about a cool wormhole he found. They already sent some peeps through and found a couple replacement planets for the one they just finished ruining. Now all they need to do is take some embryos there in order to spread the disease that is the human race. And who better to do it than Coop, a man who five minutes earlier they didn’t give two shitsabout. Must have been the plan all along, right guys? Who cares, because this humble farmer is the best goddamn astronaut anyone has ever seen. Coop heads off to space with Brand’s daughter Amelia, a robot named TARS, and a bunch of other people who don’t matter because they all die. They go to an ocean planet near a black hole where time is not on their side, unlike in that song where time is on someone’s side. And for some reason the dude up in the shuttle isn’t even that mad, considering he had to just sit there for 23 years contemplating this sick burn.
Next they go to an ice planet, where they find Matt Damon, an actor known for exclusively playing astronauts. Only he turns out to be a bad guy astronaut, which is not very Sexiest Man Alive 2007 of him. Matt Damon tries to kill everyone and steal their ship, but the good guys stop him by being the best goddamn astronauts anyone has ever seen.Just then, they start to get sucked into the black hole, so Coop panics and jumps overboard. The black hole turns out to be some kind of intergalactic bookstore. Coop looks behind the bookshelves and sees Murphy’s bedroom through the years, though thankfully not when she’s jerking it or anything. Coop realizes he was that pesky ghost all along, and uses morse code to give her the data she needs to solve the big space equation, which he somehow figured out I guess.Coop is found drifting near Saturn fifty years later and brought to an orbital colony where his elderly daughter is about to die. That’s the thing about daughters: they keep getting older, you stay the same age. After talking to her for less than a minute, he leaves again to go see if Amelia wants to spaceship and chill.Interstellar explores humanity’s relationship with its own extinction, though too little too late if you ask me. There there, don’t cry. It’s over now. Shh shh shh. Dr. Brand desperately wants to save his species, but fears that humans are too egocentric to help preserve mankind’s future unless they can also save themselves or their loved ones.
He repeatedly quotes Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” a poem that urges perseverance against death, even when the fight seems hopeless. Ironically, he quotes the poem so much that it makes you want to kill yourself. Dr. Mann serves as a perfect exemplification of Brand’s fear, and his name subtly reminds us that he is representative of all Earthlings. Mann talks a big game about sacrifice, but when it comes down to it, he don’t got the stones. Like Brand, Mann is well versed in the poetry of survival, but unlike Brand, he’s just talking about his OWN survival. When humans are truly tested, their selfishness always comes through in the clutch. At the beginning of the film, it seems Cooper is equally shortsighted. The only reason he accepts Brand’s mission is because he wants to save his daughter, and also his son a tiny bit. But at the end when he realizes his dadbod is weighing down the ship, Coop sacrifices himself so Earth could continue its love affair with Anne Hathaway. Does Coop disprove Brand’s theory about human nature? Or does he represent something more than human, like a werewolf?
At various points of the film, Coop represents a different aspect of the Holy Trinity, from the book “Bible,” by Jesus. Like Jesus, Coop sacrifices himself to save the human race, and is subsequently resurrected by a passing spaceship. While browsing at Barnes & Nova , he becomes God the Father – an omnipotent entity who transcends time and space like it’s his job. And he turns out to be Murphy’s “ghost,” so, you know, Holy Spirit. If that’s not enough Bible shit for you, the twelve astronauts who explore the wormhole on the first mission can be likened to the twelve apostles of Jesus, missionaries charged with spreading the word of Christ. The space station that rescues Earth’s refugees parallels Noah’s Ark, in that no more than two of any race is allowed on board.In keeping with its religious themes, Interstellar is decidedly anti-science. Throughout much of the film, decisions made in the name of rational thought tend to end disastrously. For example, Amelia’s attempt to recover scientific data on the ocean planet costs the crew 23 years and results in the death of an expendable redshirt. Similarly, after careful deliberation of the facts, the crew chooses to visit Mann’s planet, which turns out to be a real oopsie. The crew ignores Amelia’s insistence that they visit Edmund’s planet because they distrust her lovesick puppy eyes.
The film posits that the most powerful force in the universe is love. It’s like the Beatles sang, “All you need… is a yellow submarine.” Coop’s connection with his daughter is what enables him to find her in the non-fiction section. And Murph’s love for her father is the reason she keeps the watch he uses to communicate with her. Then again, if it’s between love and a photon destabilizer, I’m choosing the destabilizer every time.For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Goodbye.