Flashback: Interstellar (2014)

Nothing can ever replace my experience of seeing Interstellar for the first time in the theatre. The perplexities of time warp in galaxial black holes, Hans Zimmer’s glorious pipe organ-centered score, and the state-of-the-art cinematography both on a dust bowl dying Earth and a gravity defying galaxy were truly extraordinary encounters embedded forever in my memory.

That was in 2014.

Six years later as we find ourselves practicing social distancing due to an unpredictable and calamitous COVID-19 virus, I find myself rewatching this Christopher Nolan epic and discovering so much more emotional depth, themes of accepting the unknown and simultaneously yearning to know more, and most importantly – the simple yet tremendous act of having hope.

There is the line spoken by Cooper, a NASA test pilot engineer forced to farm a dying Earth for his family’s survival: “Once you’re a parent, you’re the ghost of your children’s future.”

Cooper’s relationship with his daughter, Murphy, is a special bond of love and the quest to discover not just who or what that “ghost” is, but the scientific reasoning behind the anomalies that occur within their home.

After books inexplicably fall off the shelf and binary codes mysteriously write themselves in the dust, Cooper and Murphy embark on a journey from Earth to space, and unbeknownst to them, it ends up being more spiritual than scientific.

In 2014, I was blown away by the theory of relativity phenomenon that occurs when Cooper and his team of NASA astronauts traverse their ship through a spherical wormhole. Every two hours spent in this “evolved” world equals around seven years of life on the planet Earth. On a surface level, this Christopher Nolan mindbender was mesmerizing and my favorite part of the movie. Today, it goes into a more meaningful, “life is too short” kind of level. I found myself getting teary eyed when Cooper says goodbye to Murphy and then has to watch it happen all over again from another dimension – a fifth one that provides him the comfort of knowing there is more out there than just the tangible.

Matthew McConaughey and Filmmaker Christopher Nolan

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan always baffles me. Except for my favorite in Memento (2000), his exposition-crammed screenplays and obsession with time perplexities tend to win out the character development and the heart and soul necessary to make a full-length movie tick (and his are long). I often laugh at how the wonders of manipulating dreamscapes in his Inception (2010) are played by characters of such grave seriousness. Who knew building dreams could be such a drag?

Interstellar is all about heart and soul, even when they are dampened by an understandable, stubborn inclination to follow scientific reasoning first. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper with such subtle ease as he lets go, accepts new truths, and grasps that Albert Camus concept of “Where there is no hope, we must invent it.”  

In this time of not knowing how much more intense or dire the COVID-19 virus is going to be the next day, our Earth becomes more and more our treasured friend, and hope is our handshake of peace…  

Interstellar gives me hope – hope for our communities, our planet, and our faith. This is a groundbreaker worth seeing again, especially today.

51 thoughts on “Flashback: Interstellar (2014)

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  1. Interstellar is an incredible film, a rare gem that I think is going to be a timeless classic in the future just like 2001. I can’t help but think there’s a lot of inspiration from it too.

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        1. Christopher Nolan films can feel mechanical to me sometimes, but this one got to me, especially in today’s climate. I try to like comic book/superhero movies, but they are all the same to me.

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          1. I have a real problem with his films. They just lack character and authenticity although the younger generation laud him. The only one I liked was because Heath Ledger kicked arse Like his ‘Origen’ could have been one of the greatest movies ever made but he dummed it down with this excessive violence and action which diluted it’s meaning. And ‘Dunkirk’. Visually austere, but had no character and storytelling worth following. He just lacks this soul I would say in a director.

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            1. I agree except for Memento and Interstellar, which didn’t use characters like pawns like his other films do. He is an enigmatic visionary for the film medium, but I agree that most of his movies lack character emotion. Interstellar is my exception. I truly loved watching MM grow in this movie.

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            2. I find Interstellar amateur film-making for someone with a big budget. The character, script… everything I despise in that film given its budget. But I also understand why people may like it.

              I can’t understand how someone can like Interstellar and not get their rocks off with ‘Contact’ which is the far superior movie. ‘Contact’ should be the wetdreams of millennials lol

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            3. You’re good. It’s part of our DNA to despise particular movies, directors, actors, etc. Some of my beloved-by-most but loathed-by-me flicks are anything “superhero,” August Rush, The Boondock Saints, Booksmart, Talladega Nights, and the recent Joker. But, when applying “amateur-film-making for someone with a big budget” to Christopher Nolan, I think you are alone, my friend, and these are lonely days, indeed. In these times of loneliness, I pray you find your soul, haha!

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            4. Yes, it’s my DNA and I think it may be in others too who find his movies burdened by ‘style over substance’. Perhaps that criticism of mine was too harsh as he is at least a director who goes out on a limb and tries to ‘wow’ his audiences. But in wanting to impress so much he doesn’t seem to know how to finesse his films – there is a certain arrogance in his film-making which turns me off. Movies like ‘Inception’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Dunkirk’ which were visually and conceptually stunning films, seemingly fall short on characterization and meaningfulness. I wish he were a more restrained director. Anyway I’ll leave it at that.
              You too, take care Reely in these difficult time. My best wished for you and your family.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Actually, for the most part, I agree with you, and that is why I wrote: “Filmmaker Christopher Nolan always baffles me. Except for my favorite in Memento (2000), his exposition-crammed screenplays and obsession with time perplexities tend to win out the character development and the heart and soul necessary to make a full-length movie tick (and his are long). I often laugh at how the wonders of manipulating dreamscapes in his Inception (2010) are played by characters of such grave seriousness. Who knew building dreams could be such a drag?”

              But, with Interstellar, I was pleasantly surprised, especially in this day in age. There is hope here. There are tears. There are emotions. And, yes, for me, and actually the majority of “others” you mention (just visit Metacritic; not staggering but majority), there is substance . This is his most spiritual work, by far.

              Yes, the most important thing is to stay safe, stay healthy, and keep hope. Luckily, you and I can go to Larry David for much needed laughs 🙂

              Be well, observationblogger!

              Liked by 1 person

            6. Oh, the big discovery in Interstellar was ‘Love’. How revelatory! The payoff is so weak in that movie and it takes an eternity to get there. The scenes I like to revisit are the Tidal Wave, The multidimenional Book case Murf connection and the aftermath ‘baseball’ inception bit. The scene with the older Murf just fell so flat to me. ‘Contact’ had a much more revelatory and transformational payoff and there isn’t a boring scene in it. It wasn’t dummed down at all for the audience.
              Yeh, I’ll probably rewatch Curb one of these days from Season 1 but I’m currently going through some movies I wanted to revisit. Casablanca and North by Northwest were my first 2.
              Cheers Reely
              Kind regards,

              Liked by 2 people

  2. Loved the chat between you and Badfinger 🙂 … Interstellar is up there as one of my all-time rewatch films, and it’s now on my ‘rewatch’ pile. I’m doing all the big series … almost finished the Marvel 23-ology, then I’ll do a few one-offs just to refresh the palate, then, I’m thinking maybe the Fast & Furiousas. 😀
    Stay safe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Widdershins! Oh, man! The Fast & Furiousas, haha! I did that four years ago. Of course, 3 news ones appeared after that, but it was fun! My opinion? Fast Five all the way!!!

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  3. I love long movies but…when I first watched this one. I thought it could have used a little more editing…BUT now that I have re watched it I like it as it is. I watched around 2 years ago again. We did see it in the theater when it came out and it was an amazing watch on the big screen.

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    1. And, you know me with long movies – I’m not a huge fan. But, these days, it was more than welcomed. Now that baseball is gone, this is our new pastime! And, yes, I agree about the editing room, but at the same time, it felt like a spiritual accomplishment watching this again. From paranormal to science to faith, this thing just kept unfolding, albeit slowly. I cranked up that Hans Zimmer score and just soaked it all up. Other than Memento, this is my favorite Christopher Nolan films. Inception still feels gimmicky to me.

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      1. If it is long it does need to have a purpose… that is the only way to have them. Speaking of long movies…Bailey has never seen Gone With The Wind…I got that cued up and ready.

        I can see where that movie touches with today…

        My son is listing him favorite A24 movies and I’m going to post them when he is done…..I’m waiting for him to finish them.

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        1. Amen!

          Gone with the Wind – another feat. I was working at Blockbuster Video when I saw it. I closed up the store, went home, put in the two VHS tapes, and went to sleep at 3:30am. It was a wonderful experience, and I mean that.

          Ooo! Yeah – Go A24! I’m in the minority with Midsommer, but I like most of their indies 🙂

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          1. Midsommer was alright but man…some of the characters were just bad people. I didn’t like the end…it ended like a typical horror movie…they are better than that.

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            1. Agreed. I actually thought there was a better movie in how bad, codependent, and idiotic they were, not the conventional shock horror at the second half. And, seriously, after seeing these idiots watch two peeps jump off a cliff and just move on wasn’t believable to me. Gosh, Gone with the Wind sounds like the perfect movie right now…

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Hahaha! Like a bat out of hell!

              I reviewed it on Letterboxd. I thought it was so-so. It wanted to be Kubrick, King, and a television series all at the same time. I really like Ewan McGregor, even though it always sounds like he’s trying so hard to bury his Scottish accent, haha!

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            3. Side note: Since there’s no baseball, and I got MLB The Show ‘20 on my PS4, I traded Arenado for pitchers who could pitch a good splitter, probably the only effective pitch at Coors Field. Basically, I got a bunch of Minnesota Twins, haha!

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            4. LOL…. I have watched the 81 World Series, Dodgers over the Yankees, 88 The Kirk year, 72 The A’s over the Reds and 3 Superbowls from the seventies where they really actually play football without flags being thrown everywhere!

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            5. I know…football I think will go the way of boxing.
              I feel guilty Bernie…because I only liked when they really played….it will be flag football one day….I would NOT let a son of mine play now knowing what happens with CTE….yet seeing Ken Stabler and Bradshaw pass and watching the hits were great…
              I don’t watch today…I understand them being careful but it bores me to tears.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. Ive read youth leagues now are almost impossible to fill…Baseball can take its rightful place back on top

              Liked by 1 person

            7. You know they are happy about the delayed part of the season…I’m not saying they like what is going on….don’t get me wrong but they didn’t cry when the season was delayed.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. So true. They will always get the eye roll when their so-called 2017 title is stated, and they will get the boos, and they will get the beanballs, but they avoided some good spotlight shame for sure!

              Liked by 1 person

            9. They were already getting the beanballs in spring training. If they would have been half way sincere it would have been better. They refuse to admit that their cheating didn’t help win the World Series.
              The Dodgers dont deserve it because they didn’t earn it….but neither do the Astros.

              Liked by 1 person

            10. Yes I have…I have the DVD set and I saw the 10th inning on PBS I believe.
              It was ok but I lived it…know what I mean? It wasnt as exciting to me as watching Babe Ruth bat.
              I love that documentary…I mean love it….it’s my favorite along with The Beatles Anthology.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Its been a while since I watched it…I have it also… but he could have added a little more since I saw it. He does go through at least 2004 or so because of the Red Sox winning.
              I think yes he mentioned it…but why does football get a free pass on steroids?

              Liked by 1 person

            12. Clemens I’ve read was a jerk also…I’ve read Joe Torres book and he knew Clemens was doing something…and Bonds? Don’t go there he was the walking Mr. Potato Head

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            13. He was the most obvious. Those guys couldn’t hide behind shoulder pads!

              Well, I’m off to dinner. It was great catching up with you. Stay safe and stay healthy. Such odd times…

              Enjoy GWTW!

              Liked by 1 person

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