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Love the bomb

Here are some clips from some science fiction films I’ve been enjoying recently. There are some really potent sequences, and some nice glimpses from the past into our futures.

This first clip is from the film Ultraviolet, which isn’t very good. There is a really nice sequence around a printable phone:

The following clip is from Runaway with Tom Selleck. Imagine Magnum but in the future, with killer robots and Gene Simmons as the baddie. Awesome. I love the idea that ‘micro-electronics’ might be more dangerous than terrorists with atomic bombs.

This next two clips are my favourites. They are from John Carpenter‘s Dark Star. Long before he dreamt up Snake Plissken, he made this film about four men on a long term mission in space, to blow things up with nuclear bombs (or ‘Thermostellar Devices’).

One of the bombs has a malfunction because a laser broke. In the first clip, the main ship computer has to negotiate with the bomb to convince it not to blow up in the ‘bomb bay’. I love how they’re really polite to each other, but bristling underneath. It feels a lot like when I try to open Mac-based Illustrator DXF files in Solidworks.

This goes fairly smoothly until later, when the bomb is rearmed. One of the crew (Doolittle) has to go and negotiate with the bomb, face to face, to convince it not to explode. It’s quite strange. He talks on a radio headset, but he goes outside in his space suit to look at the bomb, eye to eye. There is a face created by the instruments on one of it’s sides. Terrific cod philosophy too, looks like it’s derived from Kubrick; the bomb turns out to be a little stupid.

It all makes me think of Tom Armitage‘s talk about politeness in software at Reboot 9.0, but in a way that directly misses the point.

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