Saturday, March 16, 2002

Dave Tepper called me on my post on Contact, asking if I really thought it was awful. Having seen it again, I need to revise my opinion. I'll declare it subpar for SciFi, but a decent movie overall. I'm not sure how much was from Carl Sagan (the author), and how much was from Jodie Foster (the director/star), but there was the obligatory bashing of evangelical Christians and conservatives in copious amounts. However, the scene at the end where Jodie testifies before the Senate is very different from this, and I'm informed by the DT that this scene wasn't in Sagan's book. Advantage: Jodie Foster (was there ever any doubt?). Mathew McConaughey's character, representing a thoughtful religious viewpoint, is never actually debunked in the movie, which is fairly rare in movies (though the Count of Monte Christo succeeded well in having God's will triumph). I think Sagan was trying to prove that religion was superseded by science, but ended up showing in fact that religion has a valid claim. Here are some quotes from the movie, and you can decide for yourself if they refer to science or religion (especially Christianity):

"I think it's worth a human life, don't you?"

"I believe our goal is one and the same: the pursuit of the truth."

"I wish I could share it. I wish everyone, if only for a moment--could feel that sense of awe, and humility... and hope. That continues to be my wish."

"I had... an experience. I can't prove it. I can't even explain it. All I can tell you is that everything I know as a human being, everything I am -- tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful. Something that changed me. A vision of the universe that made it overwhelmingly clear just how tiny and insignificant -- and at the same time how rare and precious we all are. A vision... that tells us we belong to something greater than ourselves... that we're not--that none of us--is alone."

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