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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

South African Science Fiction

posted by on April 9 at 11:36 AM

Discovered this morning on this website is the current renovation of the tallest and strangest residential tower in Africa, Ponte City. Located in the Hillbrow neighborhood of Johannesburg, the core of the cylindrical building will leave its past…
(The cinema of Alien, Blade Runner, Robo Cop)

And enter its future…
800px-PonteCore.jpg (The cinema of Gattaca, Code 46, Sunshine)

The renovation has its cause in the 2010 World Cup, which will be hosted in Jozi, the most developed city in the most underdeveloped continent on the planet.

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Uh, that doesn't look like anything from Gattaca...or Sunshine.

First one doesn't really have a place with RoboCop (one word).

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 12:06 PM

Only 54 stories? They'll need to go a lot higher than that if they ever want to house the poor.

Posted by elenchos | April 9, 2008 12:10 PM

I can't decide whether Sunshine was badass or incredibly lame. I liked it.

Posted by w7ngman | April 9, 2008 12:11 PM

Sweet pic, even if elenchos wouldn't know a mixed-income residential housing project if he saw one.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 9, 2008 12:15 PM

This is the Mile-High McIlwaine from THE EAR, THE EYE AND THE ARM by Nancy Farmer! Except that wonderful science fiction book is set in a future Zimbabwe rather than South Africa.

Posted by Bub | April 9, 2008 12:17 PM


It was incredible, if only because it took itself so seriously. I loved it. (Including the third act, which most people hate.)

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 12:18 PM

#6, right. It was pretty thought provoking. Then the cheesy horror flick stuff started.

Posted by w7ngman | April 9, 2008 12:27 PM


Which I LOVED!

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 12:32 PM

it had some decent concepts, and i don't mind horror films in space. but besides being one of the better recent scifi movies, it really wasn't that good. the acting was a bit weak in places. there were too many holes in the plot. and there was not enough exploration of the concepts put into play (something i really look for in a scifi movie).

Posted by infrequent | April 9, 2008 12:36 PM

The solar observation theme was rad, but you're right, they didn't explore it and some of the other stuff very well. Still a pretty enjoyable film. I think I will rewatch.

The movie was actually pretty realistic (other than the idea that you could jump -start a star without even getting to the core?) until the third act, where it was necessary to adjust my level of suspension of disbelief, which I tend to dislike. High level of suspension all along is OK, but don't pretend like you're going to deliver a realistic movie and then delve into complete fantasy.

Posted by w7ngman | April 9, 2008 1:18 PM

Sunshine was horrible. A much better movie about space themes is Dracula 3000.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 9, 2008 2:10 PM
Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 9, 2008 2:11 PM

One thousand years into the future, and somewhere in the far reaches of outer space, a terrifying legend lives on.

It’s the year 3000 AD. A salvage ship on a routine interstellar mission discovers the drifting, silent hulk of the off-world space transporter Demeter, reported missing 100 years earlier. Excited by the prospects of quick financial gain from towing back and trading in the old vessel, Mina, Van Helsing and the rest of their crew boldly board the abandoned ship, hoping to recover any valuable freight left onboard.

But as they explore its cold, empty passageways, they become aware of a terrible secret. First Mina uncovers Demeter’s mysterious cargo – 50 long, black coffins. Then, one by one the crew begins to disappear or turn against one another, until there can be no doubt that an ancient curse lives on in the bowels of this once-great ship, awaiting its next victim.

In the blackness of space the sun never rises, the ideal environment for the immortal vampire to spread his evil. For the survivors, the only hope for salvation is a desperate race across the universe, rocketing at the speed of light, praying that they’ll reach the welcoming rays of the Twin Suns of Halbron…before it’s too late.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 9, 2008 2:16 PM

bellevue. could you please post a little more information about dracula 3000? you haven't convinced me yet that i need to see it -- but i'm fairly certain you can. with another post about it. or three.

Posted by infrequent | April 9, 2008 3:10 PM

Bellevue Ave, if you have a bootleg dvd of that, I demand a copy.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 3:17 PM

you should get them to play it at slog happy, vip edition. there's a screen down there, right?

Posted by infrequent | April 9, 2008 3:22 PM
Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 9, 2008 3:36 PM

ah! something awful... it's been a while. well, those reviews are usually pretty funny. this one started off great, but i got bored a couple paragraphs into page 2. i'm not sure, but i think i'm going to blame the source material. and that's the end of my review of a review.

Posted by infrequent | April 9, 2008 3:50 PM

Sunshine was so very good for the first 3/4. It had me completely engaged. The last 1/4 wasn't so bad, but it was so dissonant from the first 3/4 that I could not buy it. I wanted some terrible scientific or psychological disaster instead of a horror show. C'est la vie j'suppose.

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | April 9, 2008 3:57 PM

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