Couch Pumpkin: Sofa Adventures
News and reviews for the big and small screens…where potatoes fear to tread.

Secrets of District 9

Thompson on Hollywood has a great interview with District 9‘s Sharlto Copley. District 9 was one of my favourite films of the year – not a flawless movie, and perhaps a little too much of a composite (much like my other fave sci fi of 09, Star Trek), but a great watch and a very promising mainstream debut from director Neill Blomkamp. I loved the way that we were not given everything on a plate – for example, we are encouraged to root for the alien prawns, and I did so wholeheartedly during the movie. However, when I got out I began to wonder whether this was in fact a good thing. What are their motives for coming to Earth? Are they really benevolent? Will they take revenge for their treatment? Such complexities elevate the film beyond the robots shoot em up it sometimes seemed.

It is even more amazing to read about the production of the film in the aforementioned interview. Copley was not an actor (I decided I wouldn’t act, I would be a writer/director/producer/businessperson. So when this came up, it was just a really really big surprise), and the movie was partially improvised (it was literally a process of just improvising several options and running five-seven minute takes of what would happen in that situation). To combine an untrained actor with improvising against animated creatures and produce such a watchable movie – wow!

Copley is working on the A-Team movie, but he intriguingly mentions the possibility of a District 9 follow-up. I’d be interested in this, but I’m also looking forward to seeing what other ideas Blomkamp comes up with. District 9’s success suggests that the movie world is not entirely closed to new talent, as it can sometimes seem.

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