Bowie’s Boy Bafta Glory!

by Anna Wilson / Clash

22nd February 2010

At last nights particularly British flavoured Baftas, it was a pleasure to watch the earnest and emotionally choked Duncan Jones take to the stage to accept his award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for his first feature film ‘Moon’.

Often obscured by the fact his father is none other than the starman himself, Mr David Bowie, it was Jones’s turn to shine. Choked with emotion, he gave a short but sincere speech, saying ”It’s taken me an awful long time to know what I wanted to do with my life. Finally, I think I’ve found what I love doing.”

The film, which also won Best British Feature at last months Edinburgh Film Festival, tells the story of lone astronaut (Sam Rockwell in a career defining performance) as he struggles through the last couple of weeks of a three-year contract on a mining base. Previously of sound mind and successful in his endeavours, he is injured in a buggy accident and thereafter begins a sharp physical and psychological deterioration.

His only companion is the on board computer/robot named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) which is more than a nod and a wink to Kubrick’s Hal. The entire film is clearly a homage of sorts to old school science fiction such as Silent Runnings and Solaris. Whilst it does share the elegance and sparseness of these classics it also manages to include a pertinent twist, introducing with it themes of memory and its subsequent effect on identity. It’s serious minded without being heavy handed, clever without being pretentious or overly obscure. This is a movie made for a few million that has the look and feel of a far more sophisticated and expensive affair. So even if it has been previously criticised for being too obviously derivative, kudos where kudos’s due.

The film was all the more deserved a winner as it stopped the
travesty that was ‘Nowhere Boy’ by Sam Taylor Wood (a biopic of the early life of John Lennon) gaining any gongs. Why such a second rate, poorly acted, made for TV disaster should have even been included on the Bafta shortlist is anyone’s guess? But that’s another story…

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