I Should Have Been Working On Storyboards But Ridley Scott SAVED Me, Hallelujah!
This was the day I had earmarked to flesh-out (actually, to create … heh heh) the storyboards for the upcoming high-budget book trailers we are slated to do for the Rowan Blaize series. What a laugh. The only “earmark” I put on the day was perhaps the slightly greasy one my lobe left on the sofa cushion as I ate peanut butter-on-toast and talked myself out of getting the job done. No apologies are being offered, here; I was not feeling the inspiration this morning, and when that happens (or does not happen, in this case) it is always best to go into Lazy Chickenshit Default status. Something is keeping me from the task, and has been doing so for about, oh … two months. I have to have a certain “fullness” to the vision, and while I’ve got that, I also need to overcome serious doubts about my ability to execute before I turn all that warm, nougaty “fullness” into reality. So I watched a Ridley Scott movie instead, and that made the notion of me attempting anything artistic delightfully moot, at least for the afternoon. My cinematic selection (viewed on Blu-Ray) was Scott’s much-ballyhooed ‘Prometheus’ — a prequel to the ‘Alien’ film franchise that is not really a prequel as much as it is a curious spin-off, I would say. Scott, who had been mulling over the storyline for a decade before releasing the film in 2012, is not primarily interested in taking us back to dark places in space where no one can hear us scream, or in setting up character trajectories meant to weave seamlessly with the Ellen Ripley-era alien mythos. Instead he prods and pokes at various ideas about the possible origins of human life on Earth and the effect that certain revelations about said origins might have on human faith … even upon sanity. As a science-fcition exploit, the film is astonishingly beautiful, visually striking in that Ridley Scottish sort of way, and decently plotted for a project of its narrative complexity. The story Scott seeks to delineate here is demanding — make no mistake about it. The performances are solid, particularly from Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace and Idris Elba. Without revealing much about the plot (and certainly no spoilers), we learn something very delicious about the shadowy “Space Jockey” that so haunted the imagination in Scott’s classic 1979 ‘Alien’ debut, and what we learn is akin to what some early Christian gnostics might have posited regarding the origins of human life and/or creation overall. Ridley went all “armchair theologian” on us, and I must aver that I appreciate his ponderings. Of course, face-hugging, deep-throating monsters make crucial appearances, but they are not quite the monsters the casual fan of the ‘Alien’ series might expect. Not yet, anyhow. I’ll close by simply giving the movie a glowing recommendation for its raw impact across-the-board and in thanksgiving for its role as a distraction on a day wherein I was jonesing to find any reason for dereliction of duty. If you want to know more about the movie before putting the popcorn in the microwave or warming up the Velveeta for nachos, go to Wikipedia or IMdb or something, for cryin’ out loud. Storyboards tomorrow. Oh, for sure. Ciao. ~JK