And Once Again, Non-commital Science Fiction

This is the original poster.  It’s not the one used for the current theatrical release.

A couple of days ago I trekked out to a local art-house theater to see Sound of My Voice, the latest release from the person responsible for last year’s Another Earth.  Similar to that movie, and Take Shelter, I felt let down by writer and/or director’s choice to not stick with a straight-up science fiction premise. I mean “cult forms around a woman claiming to be from the future” is an interesting premise.  Told from the perspective of the two main characters, people investigating the cult for a documentary, there’s already enough doubt thrown into the story as they were inherently skeptics.  However there’s then an additional twist thrown into the mix when someone comes in from the justice department, saying they’ve been tracking the cult leader for years (longer than she claimed to be in our time period.)  However this twist was then further twisted by the hint of some genuine foreknowledge on the part of the cult leader.  This kind of storytelling just seems scattershot and like the people who made the film didn’t trust the audience.  “Let’s make a science fiction movie! No, that’s too nerdy! Let’s make a thriller! Wait! Let’s make both!”

Not that I’m saying science fiction ought to be all spaceships and lasers.  Science fiction is about extrapolation.  Would it be so wrong to simply go in with an accepted premise that the cult leader was from the future and proceed with the effect of her foreknowledge and plans on society at large?  Twilight Zone generally didn’t pull its punches.  The twists it presented usually weren’t there to counteract the preceding storyline, so much as to skew the audience’s perspective (e.g., the little astronauts were the humans!)

I’m just kind of tired of movies trying to have it every way. 


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