Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Arrival - Transformation Interface

Lousie and Ian touching the alien spaceship

My friend Jennifer posted an interesting article on the subtle clues left by the makers of Arrival, as breadcrumbs to the internal connections within the story. I had made some similar observations - I saw the set and cinematic design as a light-box like staging of both ship and her home. The portal on the far plane horizontal-flat to the frame. The running of the camera lens along the ceiling grid lines mirrors that of the view inside the space ship.

This got me to thinking...
Other clues about communication with an alien intelligence; that such communication will be transformative. The shape of the ship is totemic, much like the monolith seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Moreover, the scenes of the humans touching their hands along the surface above them, is straight out of the Kubrik film. In 2001, this contact - a symbolic closing of sthe interface between two intelligences - causes a transformative change in the evolution of the human species. The touching-of-the-ship scene in Arrival is both a homage to 2001 - and a harbinger of the same transformation to come in Arrival, as it leads to the discovery of the language of the aliens, which itself (once learned and internalized) completely rewires Louise's brain and consciousness, catapulting her to a new evolutionary step. And by extension (eventually), that of the entire human species.

Early humans touching the first appearance of the monolith; stage one transformation (2001)

Modern human (Floyd) touching the monolith millennia later; stage two transformation (2001)

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