Dark City - The Director's Cut (April, 8)

I've tried Dark City before, a couple of years ago, just before the time I had the idea for Omad. The researcher who would advise me in my doctorate studies had wrote about it. Despite it being a classic Sci-Fi, I've had never heard about it before. Maybe I saw bits of it on TV, but until this day I haven't been able to watch it.

There's a lot of fuss around Dark City, although the raving comments on imdb.com are mostly from the time the movie was released or from a few years after. There's a lot of comparison with Matrix - some of the set was sold to the Wackowski's film. Both movies have a similar premise - life as an illusion, a dream (I doubt there's something more true in life than our nightly dreams). The illusion is one shared by timeless espritual beliefs around the world: this life on earth is just an illusion, our real being are not in this body or place. Sci-fi stories are skillful in  talking about this belief - one that I share, by the way. Be aware of the illusion is the key for living, and both films talk about that in different ways. 

I'm usually against the grain, a capacity ingrained on people from Aquarius. I'm aware of how good Dark City is, but I'm too attached to what The Matrix meant at its time to think it is a masterpiece. Sorry. Maybe just because of such movies that what was happening in Dark City was too clear, the references so ordinary now to amaze me. They're good references, don't get me wrong. The Strangers are a bunch of Nosferatus, Dr. Schreber has a staggering resemblance to Dracula's Renfield. And of course the everlasting night take us straight to Blade Runner - as the sort of '40s aesthetic in some aspects, despite the futuristic tec involved. I'm not talking about copy here, but about references - they stay in the air of what was and what it will be, and stories after stories refer to each other. 

The sort of jello image that signalizes (something unnecessary to me, that weakened the action actually) the mind power is similar to what I see peripherally when I have a migraine coming up. It caused me a great discomfort, adding to the atmosphere. Nor a bad movie at all, but nothing that rocked my Sci-fi world. Unfortunately.

This film is almos 30 years old.. Everyone in her is so young!

Dark City. Directed by Alex Proyas. Cast: Ruffus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly,
Kiefer Sutherland. Writers: Alex Proyas et al. Australia/USA, 1998, Dolby Digital/
SDDS, Color, 111 min. (Director's cut).

PS: I first noticed Rufus Sewell in a good way with his great rendition of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew for the BBC's good series. This modern version of this great tale (I love it the different takes on this story specially 10 Things I Hate About You) is hysterically funny, endearing, sweet, heartfelt and very true to what is essential, at least for me, in the story. I feel inadequate as Katherine, and I understand her way of claiming her own place while not fitting the family and social patterns. Ruffus is amazing here, and from the moment I saw his Petruchio I stopped confusing him with Jude Law. 


  1. I don't know how long ago I watched this, sometime over the past 5 years, but I remember liking it. No, it's not life-changing as Matrix, but I found it a good one, I like the aesthetics and the premise. Production design in this was also quite awesome. I also didn't remember it being an Australian film. Guess that made it easier for them to sell some sets for the making of Matrix, which was also shot in Australia. Some interesting stuff. I still think this film presents an intricate plot quite amazingly. Now, you made me jump when you mentioned it's almost 30 years old! You got your math wrong, buddy!! hahaha it'll be 20 years old next year, not 30 :D

    And I don't recall which movie made me stop mistaking Rufus Sewell for Jude Law, but I remember the first one of his movies that I saw (don't know the title, though), it was one about an autistic kid. I'm yet to start watching ShakespeaRe-Told, should get on that soon! At the moment I'm getting to the end of Big Little Lies and starting American Gods (OH MY GOD to both).

    [ j ]

    1. Glad that you're enjoying Big Little Lies so much! I just loved it. Regarding American Gods, I have a lot of buts, though. It is sad, because I love love love Neil Gaiman and this is his best book (a masterpiece side by side with Sandman, despite my absolute love for Neverwhere). I'm folowing it, but I'm not too enthusiastic, unfortunately. For me, Shadow is being missrepresented, mainly by a lousy performance and an insuficient actor's directing. He looks a fool in Starz TV show, and that he is not. Ian McShade is amazing, but there's no surprise here. The opening title sequence reminds me one of my favorite overtures, the one in The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVLJkIZvFlo
      So, overall, I'm just merely enjoying this rendition of an amazing book by one of the biggest storytellers who have ever graced this earth (and other worlds :).