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24 September, 2007

Review: TRON (1982)

I watched this on TV last night, slightly amused by the pretext under which BBC 4 (the BBC's 'arts' channel) showed it.  The previous programme had been a documentary on Jean Giraud aka Moebius, the French comics artist.  He'd designed the set and costumes for 'TRON', so....

This review will be brief, as I only want to make two observations:

The visual designers showed real ingenuity in making the best use of limited computer graphics technology. A remake might look more spectacular, but would probably have a shiny ordinariness rather than the original's stylised originality.

Like the other Disney-funded sci-fi film of that time, 'The Black Hole', the script was awful, in exactly the same ways. The dialogue wasn't great, but in particular, the plot was too abrupt, as if over-edited. There was no sense of gradual development, whether in plot or characterisation; one was dropped straight into an under-explained existing situation, then carried along having to interpret conceptual elements for oneself. Fair enough, the target audience was presumably rather young, but still....
I may be misjudging the approach – it could have been a revolutionary attempt to reproduce the effect of reading a novel, in which the words on the page are elaborated by the reader's own imagination rather than being stated outright. Maybe.

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