Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, ... Written by
Ellie is based partly on real radio astronomy pioneers and extra-terrestrial intelligence researchers.There's also some Carl Sagan in her. He wanted a female hero to inspire girls to pursue science. See more »
The IMC team put in a chair and restraints, calling these "minimum" but made no provision for food, water and since they did not know the duration of the trip) some form of waste disposal.
It would seem food and water would be more important than a chair. See more »
Absolutely brilliant; unequivocally, completely amazing in every way.
N.B: This is a very long monologue because I adore CONTACT to
I loved the irony present in Contact, as well as its religious imagery and
its attention to fine detail. To see the universe in that opening scene was
breath-taking, and the reason for it all coming out of Ellie's eye becomes
blissfully apparent in light of the end, for her journey was just as much a
physical as well as an emotional and spiritual one. The photography was
superb, alternating between expansive sweeps of the landscape and the
universe, and close, intimate shots of the characters, symbolising the
potential for the unknown' as well as an equally important knowledge of all
that is familiar contact with our own people.
The irony manifested itself in how Ellie, who denounced Palmer's ability to
possess complete faith in God, ended up being the advocate of such a faith,
though of a different strand; she could now appreciate Palmer's passion.
Remember that Biblical verse that when paraphrased reads something like:
`The man who is not willing to give up his life will lose it, but he who is
willing will gain it'? This religious imagery correlates to how Drumlin
lost his life in pursuit of personal acclaim, while Ellie, who admitted that
she would freely give up her life in pursuit of life's tormenting questions,
gained it in such a memorable and satisfying way. She found inner peace,
having made contact with two intelligent races; one of the skies, and one of
her own kind. The dried up cliché alluding to aliens: `We are not alone'
begins to take on a new meaning in a multitude of dimensions in light of
this brilliant movie.
I read this wonderful blurb' about Contact, and I think this following line
delineates the film, and why watching Contact became such a defining film
for me: `[Ellie's] personal voyage will take her beyond theory, beyond
knowledge , beyond experience, to the realization that true vision is
ultimately the union of fact and faith.' This duality of life and true
fulfilment which arises from the reconcilement of contrary beliefs is surely
a theme of the film: evinced through the conflict created by science vs.
religion, fact vs. faith, vision vs. reality.
Carl Sagan's novel was also a fulfilling pleasure to read. I thought that
the message in pi was an absolutely crucial element of the book, the
implications of such a message being that there is an all-powerful force'
behind the universe, which brings order to disorder, and such a force' we
might call God. So possibly, C.S's novel did prove the existence of God.
Maybe the recurring C' pattern in the film, (the quadruple' system Ellie
saw near Vega, the sands in her father's hands and that which she holds in
the end), is indicative of such order that no matter how large or small an
event, i.e, whether a message is written in the sky or in the palm of one's
hands, order is present, and implies a powerful force guiding the
I am incapable of seeing many, if any, faults with this film I truly
cannot understand why anyone would think it contrived or the same as
something as brain-numbing and gung-ho as `Armageddon'.
It is truly an intellectual film with meanings at many
levels and so thought-provoking! Perhaps Matthew McConaughey's
representation of Palmer Joss was a little unbelievable, and the
thrice-repeated `It's an awful waste of space' phrase that connected Ellie
to her father and Ellie to Palmer can be seen as a tad too sentimental on
the one hand, but on the other, it serves to punctuate the potentiality of
the physical universe, and the human mind, which, in C.S's case, conceived
this book. Jodie Foster is magnificent, but then again, isn't she always?
The extraordinary passion Ellie exhibited was admirable her innate sense
of wonder balanced by a stabbing loneliness, born out of the premature
departure of a dear parent.
I love Contact because of its poignant humanity, the sense of wonder that
resonates so strongly throughout the film and indicates the strength of that
wonder which inspired C.S in the first place, and because it searches for
meaning so idealistically, while still, necessarily, maintaining the
sometimes harsh realities of life (personified by James Woods' unsympathetic
and skeptical Kitz).
To those who hated the ending, you obviously missed a crucial component of
the film, that of possibility and potentiality. To have Ellie return with
tangible evidence of alien existence would demolish all the credibility that
Robert Zemeckis attempted to create by showing the current American
president referring generically to the event of the message being
discovered, the decision to build the machine, etc. The ending was crafted
in such a way as to enable a choice by the viewer/reader to be made just
like how C.S equally respected those in his book who chose to pursue a path
of science or religion. We, the audience, are allowed to decide what really
happened, and this makes Contact an almost interactive and therefore a more
Contact has something to say to everyone, and has real meaning that cannot
help but whisk viewers and readers alike to some thrilling place. To those
who thought the film predictable, and had not previously read the book, I
would say that you must be VERY creative if you managed to anticipate all
that Contact had to offer. But for everyone who was as much inspired by
this magnificent film as I was, here's the most important lesson to be
derived from both the book and the film: `For small creatures such as we the
vastness is bearable only through love.' This enlightened message, dreamt
up by Carl Sagan, makes me even more convinced that a book critic who said
of Carl Sagan: `with terrestrials like him, who needs extras?' is exactly
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