Good sci-fi is about the people who encounter new worlds, psycho robots and sentient computers. Sadly, it’s a rare thing. Most sci-fi is written by (and for) men who wet themselves at the sight of circuit boards; guys for whom human interaction remains curtailed in chat-rooms. While the ideas of science fiction – what it is to be human, what it is to be alien – are fascinating, they’re usually swamped by silly jargon and space battles. Intelligent sci-fi in movies is practically an oxymoron. Even Alien has a finale where the human female must remove her clothes. Thankfully, the new sci-fi movie, Moon, is not about nipples or things that go “beep”.
Obscene humour is life-affirming. It steals death’s thunder. With every forbidden word said aloud, every affront-giving body part on show, comedians yank death out of its prudish silence. In the same way sex let’s you (hopefully) bare all, obscene humour is about making an audience stop minding their bodies. You’re meant to startle (at first), but once the oh-my-God bit is done, laughter is liberating. Death is the only word that’s truly obscene, because it’s an end. Obscene humour is about saying: yes, x is mortifying, but – so what? The new comedy, Bruno, will give prudes a heart-attack. It’s horny for life.
If you make movies for adults, then you have to talk careers. Yes, there’s love, and situation comedy as you get older, but most of adult life is spent at work. A career is when your work matters to you. The director Michael Mann sees anything outside of a career as superfluous. That’s why he makes so many cops ’n robbers movies, because both livings exclude all else. Mann’s protagonists are men the way cowboys were men; their work defines them. Women have too many feelings for Michael Mann. If a stay-at-home mom was his subject, she’d handle her baby like a machine gun. His latest, Public Enemies, is a tale of two workaholics trying to best each other. They’d both choose death over a desk job.