Wednesday, August 1, 2012

High Concepts and Nazi Moon Bases

Movies: Tony Nunes previews the high concept brilliance of "Iron Sky"

In 1945, just prior to the Nuremberg Trials, a number of Nazi's evaded prosecution by fleeing to the Moon. Yes, you heard right, at the tail end of WWII a secret Nazi space program packed up and built a secret (Swastika shaped) base on the dark side of the moon. At least that's the back-story of "Iron Sky," an ambitious new science fiction film from Finnish director Timo Vuorensola.

First, a little historical context to sum up my excitement about "Iron Sky." In 1980's Hollywood, "high concept" was a genre defining term used to describe unique and original films. Movies like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Empire Strikes Back" touched on well tested genres with new and innovative storytelling and audience attracting awe. High concept meant big ideas, fantastic settings and often quirky plot devices. Nowadays high concept movies are a rarity in this landscape of sequels and remakes, yet here is as zany a concept as any before it.

Made between 2010 and 2011, "Iron Sky" is the very model of indie film in this era of social media. Using social media campaigns, making-of docs on youtube, merchandising, video games and tailor made propaganda spread across the blogosphere the filmmakers raised a seventh of their budget by aiming fundraising campaigns at fans and film buffs eager for something different. 

The result, as hinted by the trailer posted below, is an outrageous movie featuring Udo Kier, Nazi flying saucers and a quite obviously Sarah Palin inspired POTUS. Perfectly ridiculous. The effects look surpsingly flawless for an indie film, a hopeful sign for what I hope will become a trend of once more taking risks in film. The return of "high concept!"

"Iron Sky" just began its limited run across the US. If you'd like "Iron Sky" to come to a city near you, you can request it via the Tugg powered on-demand system on the "Iron Sky" website

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