The Good: Overall it was a solid film with an interesting take on Love as a force of nature and Time as a physical construct. The depiction of a 5-D world was pretty awesome. Jessica Chastain's performance as the adult Murphy was heartwrenchingly believable and utterly relatable (I think she's really the one who brought the movie home, not Matt McConaughey).
The Bad: It wasn't strikingly original in that it borrowed heavily from a huge number of movies other than 2001:ASO (most notably Signs, Contact, and Event Horizon, but also Field of Dreams and Titanic...yes, Titanic). The first hour was slow and there were tons of plot holes, The audio was weird (sometimes it was hard to hear the dialogue over the background noise). Anne Hathaway's acting...insert frowny face symbol here.
|Instellar's cool depiction of 5D time and space.|
First, let's go ahead and get the mythology out of the way, starting with the corn. Corn abounds in Interstellar. Dystopian farmers work acres upon acres of corn fields and NASA is housed in an underground corn bunker.
|Cooper and daughter Murphy standing in front of their corn field.|
1. The Mythology of Corn
|Corn growing out of the body of Osiris|
2. The Mythology of Okra
Shango is the Yoruba African god of storms. One of his favorite ritual feast foods is okra. Quentin Tarantino drew on the myth of Shango for his movie Django Unchained.
At one point in Interstellar a farmer burns the last okra crop, then towards the end of the film Cooper's daughter Murphy burns down the corn fields. This could be interpreted as a rebellious act of rejecting ancient spiritual wisdom in favor of technology.
|An adult Murphy setting the corn fields on fire in Interstellar|
|Murphy after burning the corn fields (left); Django after burning down Candyland (right).|
|Osiris and Isis|
Isis is often equated with the goddess Hathor. Thus, actress Anne Hathaway (Hathor-way) plays Dr. Amelia Brand who is the Isis character in the movie.
|Anne Hathaway as Dr. Amelia Brand|
The character Romilly (played by David Gyasi) represents the original Osiris. He was also clearly meant to embody the memory of Ronald McNair, the African American astronaut who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.
|Romilly (David Gyasi), left; Astronaut Ronald McNair, right.|
|Brand and Cooper preparing to open Dr. Mann's cryogenic sleep chamber.|
I was left feeling some kind of way about the ambiguous relationship between Romilly and Brand since before he died she sprung on him that she was in love with one of the original 12 astronauts from the previous mission named Edmunds. The myth veers off course here with Isis, supposedly the faithful wife and widow of Osiris, looking more like a trifling cheater.
|Brand having an intimate moment with Romilly.|
Mann tries to kill Cooper by cracking open his space helmet and leaving him to suffocate (note: he can't breathe). But Brand flies to the rescue and resurrects the dying Cooper to become the newest new Osiris (just as Isis turns herself into a bird and copulates with the dead Osiris to save his seed in myth).
|Isis in her bird form "raising" the dead Osiris|
McConaughey stars as a guy hiding out in a boat (read: coffin) that floated down a river and landed in the top of a tree (sound familar?). Furthermore, Nolan said he chose to cast McConaughey after seeing him in an early cut of Mud.
|The boat stuck in the tree symbolizes Osiris' coffin in a scene from the movie Mud.|
As such, there is almost something sacrilegious in the burning of the corn fields at the end of the movie. It's as if to say, we don't need to honor the indigenous people of the Earth, their knowledge, or traditions because, hey, we sling-shotted ourselves uninvited into sacred darkness and solved the problem through technology and true grit GRRRRR!
To which I simply ask, how is the hubris of that train of thought any different than Dr. Mann's selfish folly? It isn't. Plus there's the way the men overrode Brand's feminine spiritual love instinct to follow faulty human logic instead. And that's why I believe mankind on Earth in Interstellar failed to get inducted into the Galactic Federation for the fourth time. Bummer.
There has been a bit of controversy over the lack of minority roles in the movie, particularly black females. However, I posit that may be because, in a sense, there is one gigantic black female eclipsing the entire film...the black hole itself.
|The beautiful black hole in Interstellar, or as I like to call her, The She.|
An interesting theory is floating around that Cooper actually died after he ejected into space without ever reaching the black hole, and the events that transpire afterward are nothing but manifestations of a death dream.
I'm going to take it one step further and say Cooper actually suffocated to death on Dr. Mann's planet and everything occurring after that were manifestations of a death dream.
As proof, I submit the scene where Cooper is ushered into his 93 year-old daughter Murphy's hospital room. A nurse tells Coop his whole family has been waiting for him. When he enters the room the family has their backs to him before turning to face him.
That scene was ripped straight out of elderly Rose's death dream scene at the end of Titanic where she reunites with Jack who hasn't aged just like elderly Murphy reunites with her father Cooper who hasn't aged.
Nolan famously used a similar plot device in Inception by hiding the faces of Cobb's kids until the end of the movie to indicate they may have been dead and/or that Cobb may have still been dreaming. Note: Cobb's kids were also a boy and girl the same as Cooper's kids. (corn on the) Cobb=Cooper.
---Read Boston Mag's cool comparison of Interstellar vs. Inception
---Read how Inception's Dom Cobb also represented the corn god Osiris
The takeaway: The Universe as personified by the Triple-Black Hole (whole) Mother Goddess doesn't give a shit about material and physical things nor the blasé human concept of death. Love is all there is, was, and ever will be. Love is the strongest force imaginable. As the movie's title suggests, this is an INTERnal struggle for us. Until mankind learns to accept, hone, and use our inner love instinct as our sole motivating guide for everything in life we will never evolve and may even become extinct...or worse...be forced to eat corn products in perpetuity.
. . . . .
& Eleleth adds:
|Rex Nemorensis (Nazi blonde and Baphomet brunette)|
|Helen and Penelope|
Babalon and the Beast only meet in the central space of love-rage as Ultra-violence --- in another life when they are both Cat People. Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds = the blonde destroying the Tower filled with Nazis hooked on the silver Monolith screen in Plato's Cave (also starring Diane Kruger, Helen of Troy). Django Unchained = Rite of Nemi in which the runaway slave kills Leo DiCaprio the King of the World and reclaims his wife. Christoph Waltz is the star of both movies as the Thin White Duke returning from Helen and Troy to Penelope and Ithaca, with the mark of the swastika on his forehead.
STATION TO STATION
Dr. Mann is Osiris as Lazarus (as Gerald Massey said). I.e., Osiris is a black god, and the riddle of God is Man. He cannot let go of his ego, and thus is turned to dust in Anne Hathaway's grail when crossing the airlock-Abyss. There was a 50/50 chance that Mann would've shattered his own helmet instead of Cooper's. Evil Twin syndrome -- but which is which?
|SUBJECT / OBJECT|
|SUBJECT / OBJECT|
Kubrick's work mimics the universe. As Hierophant, he mimics the Great Hierophant as cosmic Demiurge. The question becomes whether there is an Ultimate Meaning behind that as well, and smarter people than me have Seen that there is. Those who are nearest to perceiving the Real are able to bring more of the infinite into the temporal, which is why Kubrick's films seem to possess such supernatural power. But this comes with a curse of deceiving those who cannot perceive that truth and are led astray by the shadows he projects on the wall.
As has been seen throughout history, the words of the genuine Hierophant and Seer will be twisted by the ignorant to support whatever hateful and/or paranoid sectarian worldview they gravitate towards. This is a microcosm of the mechanism of the greater Universe, wherein that which is Beastly (as the Hierophant must be, to be seen) is a Black Mirror of that which is invisible, as depicted in the Cave allegory--subject to many conflicting Opinions by those who have not ventured beyond it to see the Real.
Above the Abyss, on the other side of the Black Hole, is the New World and New Life promised by the Dark-Haired Girl Anne Hathaway (a Cat Woman) as New Mother, with genetic material in her Ark-womb. At the center as the Spark of infinite potential is the Pearl of Great Price. The mission of the man who occupies the Central Space is to transcend time and bring the Infinite into the Temporal to save those still trapped Below, as it is for the man who must re-enter the Cave. The question becomes, is the Old World worth saving?
Essence that really exists is of two kinds: Pure Being, or God, and Being joined to not-being, i.e., the world of created things. The essence of God is unknowable per se; we must seek knowledge of it through its names and attributes. It is a substance with two accidents, eternity and everlastingness; with two qualities, creativeness and creatureliness; with two descriptions, uncreatedness and origination in time; with two names, Lord and slave (God and man); with two aspects, the outward or visible, which is the present world, and the inward or invisible, which is the world to come; both necessity and contingency are predicated of it, and it may be regarded either as non-existent for itself but existent for other, or as non-existent for other but existent for itself. (Reynold A. Nicholson, Studies in Islamic Mysticism)