Saw District 9 the other day and I think I liked it. It’s one of those movies that takes a while to sink in, that requires some marinating before you can really be sure how it tastes. The clearly-cool thing about it is that it’s totally different from any SF movie ever made. It has a certain gritty realism to it that makes it compelling and, at times, appropriately horrifying. I love the central premise of aliens being refugees on earth, facing all the prejudices that humans tend to have, even when it comes to things that are much less alien than, well, aliens.
The movie combines a gritty documentary realism with a more standard Hollywood narrative – which is understandable, since it is a Hollywood movie after all. But as the movie progressed it shifted more and more toward the Hollywood end of the spectrum, which was less interesting to me and also felt a bit clunky at times. I also generally liked the choice of South Africa as a setting, but the depiction of the Nigerians felt like it strayed into a colonialist view at times. E.g., do we really need subtitles for Nigerians when they’re speaking English? Despite those disappointments, overall it’s an engaging movie charting new territory for scifi on the screen.
The novel is progressing very well – I’ve written a total of about 4,700 words since I started the marathon four days ago, which puts me only a few hundred words behind schedule. I’m skipping around quite a bit, jumping ahead to the parts that are clearer in my mind or that come to me with a burst of enthusiasm. Which has been working well, because then it’s fairly easy to go back and fill in the gaps.