Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mare Crisium

Going back to MODA winners for this week's installment. Mare Crisium is one of the great stories about dreaming big. A fairly transparent adaptation of the Icarus myth, what is truly remarkable about Mare Crisium is how uplifting the end of what is essentially a distressingly tragic story can be. Full credit goes to screenwriter Robert Christopher who won his first MODA for Mare Crisium at the 1995 ceremony.  Of course his place in Hollywood is by now practically legendary and you can expect to see more of his scripts appear in this blog.

This scene opens the film and with great economy reveals the depth of Jack's ambition as well as hinting at his destructive mania. Rewatching this scene - and the fantastic performance of Edward Sweigskraft - knowing where the film is ultimately taking Jack, and vicariously us, there is never any doubt that reaching his goal, at literally any personal cost, will be a triumph for Jack.

                 A voice speaks in the darkness.
                                         JACK (O.S.)
                           Okay, here it is: I propose to
                           go to the moon. In… the next ten
                 From the darkness, the pinpoints of stars form.
                           Great. Great JFK. How are you
                           going to do that?
                 The camera drifts downwards from the skies... to the
                 glow of city lights... a house... a fence, a yard... a
                 patio with two men - JACK (35), and SIG (38). They lay
                 on lawn chairs, staring up at the stars.
                           No you aren't.
                           Listen here…  Okay. Ninteen
                           sixty… whatever, Kennedy says
                           "we're going to the moon in ten
                           years" - that was bold.
                           They did it.
                           Yeah they did it. They had every
                           genius on the planet indentured
                           to a dream.
                           So how the are you going to go
                           to the moon?
                           Well it's been done right? I
                           don't have to invent anything.
                           It's been done.
                           It's all patented.
                           So is the zipper on your pants
                           but how many companies make 'em?
                           They invented their own
                           Exactly! Based upon the
                           knowledge that it could be done
                           and a working sample. 'Sides,
                           its not like I'm planning to
                           profit - I just want to go.
                           Can't sue me for that.
                           Speaking of money, it cost them -
                           I don't know - a hundred billion
                           dollars to work it out. Apollo
                           Eleven was like mission number…
                           I don't know…
                           Ten. Those guys died during
                           Right. Apollo One. The Remo
                           William's guy played him.
                           Each of those missions cost a
                           I only have to do one. None of
                           it has to be tested. It has all
                           been done.
                           People die! Apollo One…
                 Jack gazes at the moon.
                                         SIG (CONT'D)
                           You're pulling my leg.
                 Jack smiles to himself.
                                         SIG (CONT'D)
                           It'll still cost millions.
                           That, I can work out.

Jack the dreamer

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