Did you happen to see Duncan Jones’ quiet little sci-fi picture “Moon” when it played in limited release over the summer? Did you love it? Did you hope it won some awards when you walked out (little gold men even)? Well, it still might. However, it did receive handsome kudos from the Sitges Film Festival taking home the prizes for film, best actor for Sam Rockwell, and the screenplay award for Nathan Parker. More of the “Moon” accomplishments after the jump, one of which is the conclusive evidence that there is no cheese on its surface.
Duncan Jones’ film tells the story of Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), and American astronaut that is nearing the end of his contracted three-year stint on the moon as a miner of a gas called Helium-3, which has become Earth’s primary source of energy. Bell maintains and operates each facility and machinery on the moon, along with his computer GERTY (voiced serenely by Kevin Spacey), but has had no direct human interaction since he left Earth. The direct line of communication with Earth has been disrupted and so he can only transmit and receive recordings from the planet, which are sometimes weeks old. As the end of Bell’s time on the moon nears he starts to hallucinate, and slowly begins to lose his grip on reality.
The Sitges Film Festival is largely considered the biggest genre festival on the planet, so for “Moon” to walk away with the awards that it did is in no way faint praise, especially when one considers other films that played at the festival – such as Gaspar Noe’s “Enter the Void” (which took home the Special Jury Award) and Chan-Wook Park’s vampire masterpiece “Thirst” which was the Jury Prize winner at Cannes.
“Moon” is one of the most thought-provoking and creative films to come out this year, not to mention one of the more intelligently handled and approached science-fiction films of the decade. Opting for more of the science than the fiction the film explores the effects of solitude in a barren environment, as well as the possibilities of future sciences, and their consequences.
It’s a very quiet production, so it’s only appropriate that Jones’ next project would be titled “Mute.” Variety reports that the follow-up to “Moon” will be a companion piece to it. Jones says of his two films “One of them’s about loneliness on the far side of the moon, the other’s about maintaining your individuality in a city that’s so populated that it’s difficult to be an individual.” Honestly, if the film actually had no sound at all I’d still be interested.
OFFICIAL FANTASY COMPETITION FILM
“Moon” (Duncan Jones, U.K., U.S.)
Brillante Mendoza (“Kinatay,” France, Philippines)
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
“Enter the Void” (Gaspar Noe, France, Germany, Italy)
Sam Rockwell (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)
Elena Anaya (“Hierro,” Spain) and Kim Ok-vin (“Thirst,” South Korea)
Nathan Parker, based on a Duncan Jones’ original story (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)
Benoit Debie (“Enter the Void,” France, Germany, Italy)
Tony Noble (“Moon,” U.K., U.S.)
MAKE UP F/X
Kaatje Van Damme (“Mr. Nobody,” Belgium, France, Canada, Germany)
KNB EFX Group (“Splice,” Canada, France, U.S.)
Teresa Barrozo (“Kinatay,” France, Philippines)
ORIENT EXPRESS-CASA ASIA AWARD
“Ip Man” (Yip Wai-shun, Hong Kong-China)
ANIMAT GERTIE FILM AWARD
“Summer Wars” (Mamoru Hosoda, Japan)
GOLDEN MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE
“Martyrs” (Pascal Laugier, France, Canada)
SILVER MELIES, EUROPEAN MOTION PICTURE
“The Eclipse” (Conor McPherson, Ireland)
OTHER AWARDS PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA AUDIENCE AWARD
“Zombieland” (Ruben Fleischer, U.S.)
JOSE LUIS GUARNER CRITICS’ AWARD
“Les derniers jours du monde” (Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu, France, Spain)
CITIZEN KANE AWARD TO AN UP-AND-COMING DIRECTOR
“Dogtooth” (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
“One of Those Days” (Hattie Dalton, U.K.)