Site ColumnsBy Michelle
January 29, 2005 - 11:58 PM
Several Trek alumni celebrated their Academy Award nominations earlier this week, including Star Trek Nemesis screenwriter John Logan for The Aviator screenplay and Voyager guest star Virginia Madsen (Kellin) for best supporting actress in Sideways. While there are many deserving people nominated in the top categories, I was however disappointed that one of my favorite films, with a striking, innovative screenplay and directorial vision, was overlooked in nearly all of the major categories. It's particularly disappointing to me because the film is at least superficially science fiction.
I am speaking, of course, about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which the producers wisely did not market as a genre film but as something far more difficult to classify; it was nominated for the Golden Globe for best comedy, which astonished me because it's really not a comedy at all, and only the presence of Jim Carrey could make anyone think otherwise. It bears some superficial resemblance to a romance in that it tells the story of a love affair, but it's a very unconventional affair and a very unconventional means of telling its story, beginning with the breakup and moving backward to the beginning before starting up again in what would be the film's present. I say that it's only superficially science fiction because while the plot is driven by a sci-fi device - the ability to erase selective memories - there's almost no focus on how this technique is achieved. What's important for the purposes of the movie are the results.
I don't want to spoil this film for anyone, so now that it's out on DVD and easily available, I will only encourage people to see it for themselves. It has a cast of names familiar to genre fans: in addition to Carrey and Best Actress nominee Kate Winslet, it stars Spider-Man's Kirsten Dunst and Lord of the Rings' Elijah Wood. But I'm particularly intrigued not by the acting or superb visual effects, as we watch memories fade and words disappear from the minds of the protagonists; I'm interested in the intersection of technology and feeling, and the ethical questions brought up by the idea of micromanaging synapses - the doctor who performs the memory erasure describes it at one point as brain damage. I know I've babbled about Eternal Sunshine in this space before, but I'm not sure I ever talked about it specifically as brilliant science fiction, which it is, some of the best I've ever seen.
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Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from January 2003:
- Combs Talks 'Elevated' Shran
Actor Jeffrey Combs noted that Shran seemed to have gotten a promotion within the Andorian hierarchy, having gone from a "kind of a renegade leader of a not-so-merry band of rebels" to a strategist and negotiator: "I'm sort of the commander in the field, as opposed to off on a raid somewhere. That's good; it gives me a little more stature."
- 'Worlds Of Deep Space Nine' Announced
Pocket Books revealed plans to bring out a new miniseries of Deep Space Nine novels, each of which would focus on the different planets and peoples showcased in the DS9 saga.
- Moore Confident Of Positive 'Galactica' Response
Onetime Star Trek writer Ron Moore said that despite negative preconceptions by fans, he believed that his reimaginging of Battlestar Galactica would be impressed by the new miniseries:
Even people who are fans of the old show will at least be able to see that this is a good product...it's a good story, a good script. They're doing a great job designing the sets. I'm encouraged the way casting is going so far.
More news can be found in the archives.
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Today's Television Listings
Next Friday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, UPN will show a new Star Trek: Enterprise episode, the second part of the alien arc, "United". Here's the official synopsis of the episode:
Archer tries to unify the Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans in a plan to capture a marauder ship threatening to destabilize the region.