Source Code (2011)

I watched the new movie from director Duncan Jones (Son of David Bowie, also director of 2009 science fiction movie, Moon) a couple of months back – Source Code.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, the premise is that Jake Gyllenhaal is soldier Captain Colter Stevens, undertaking a mission as part of a special unit, and has been transported into the body of a passenger on a train that was the scene of an explosion earlier that day. His mission is to re-live the last 8 minutes of the passenger’s life over and over again to slowly uncover clues as to the identity of the bomber, so his plans to strike again can be stopped.

The Captain starts the movie unaware as to where he is or why he doesn’t look like himself but slowly pieces the information together with the help of his handler, Vera Farmiga.

The movie has had  mixed reviews – I personally really enjoyed it both in terms of the Hollywood sci-fi action appeal and the range of themes explored by the narrative (time travel, parallel universes and on a more personal level duty, destiny, regret, choices). It was pretty much a current and modified version of Minority Report (2002), which was long overdue – we have glass touch-screen technology now so the tech from that film doesn’t seem so impossible anymore…

Jake Gyllenhaal was convincing, the visual effects were dramatic, the conclusion was full of hope and optimism – although, without ruining the plot, I’ve heard the opinion that it should have stopped at the freeze-frame to avoid the cheese factor – if you don’t go in expecting the dark and understated sinister unravelling of Moon but are prepared for a Hollywood suspense thriller with an interesting premise, you won’t be disappointed.

The point of this post for me was twofold:

1. To touch briefly on my new theory of time travel and why, if it’s possible, no one’s visibly come back from the future yet

Clearly there’s tech involved that means if you are here from the future, although risking catalysing a chain reaction that leads to the non-existence of donuts, anyone that you share your secret with is also transported back to the future with you. Which means that we don’t find out about the invention of time-travel until we invent it. Sorry Source Code.

2. To post a song.

I know the movie was set on a Chicago commuter train but I was at The Great Escape in Brighton this weekend and heard this song live for the first time – at an in-store show from Guillemots at Beyond Retro:

Guillemots – Trains to Brazil (Acoustic)

It was one of my top 3 gigs of the festival – the other two being from Breton and Lucy Rose – and they played both older material and songs from their new album, Walk the River. On tour in the UK at the moment.