Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist dystopian masterpiece Metropolis is another movie that, without its influence, modern science fiction would look drastically different. Directly motivating everything from Star Wars to Blade Runner, it’s aesthetic is damn near everywhere. In the case of Interstellar, however, Metropolis is more of a spiritual forbearer. Much like Nolan, Lang’s film pushed the boundaries of what was possible with movie effects at the time. Obviously there was no CGI in 1927, but upon the film’s release, it was hailed as a breathtaking technical marvel, the kind of movie that you had to see, despite what many considered a story that was silly, even cliché, and left many viewers and critics at the time wanting something more. Both of these ideas are being thrown around in regards to Interstellar in almost every piece about the film you come across.
The Grapes of Wrath
Interstellar is set in a near future where, due to unexplained factors—you suspect continued global climate change, but the real reason is never explored at all—the world is dying. Wheat no longer grows, the last ever crop of okra is being harvested as the film begins, and all that grows with any consistency is corn, and even that won’t last much longer. In fact, with massive, sweeping dust storms—the grit is omnipresent, seeping through every crack—this reality is consciously reminiscent of the Great Depression era dustbowl depicted in John Ford’s 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In it’s day, Grapes was still painfully familiar, while Nolan’s film feels eerily prescient now. Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper even resembles a modern incarnation of Henry Fonda’s Tom Joad. Unable to do anything else, both dream of something bigger, something better for their families, and each leaves, in his own way searching for a future, only to find unexpected struggles along the way.Pages [ 1 2 3 ]