Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Classic Film: Tron

I found it quite amazing the number of people who expressed astonishment when I told them that I had never seen Tron. Of course, I was familiar with the light cycle sequence - who isn't? - but I had no real idea of what it was all about. Programs, some guy getting scanned somehow into a computer, lots of neon...

I had no idea that there was such a great film behind all that. OK, sure, some of the ideas about what computers can do is a bit out there, but then this is a piece of science fiction. Positing a belief structure for programs is a small point in the film, but actually it's a genius idea: knowing "who" you were made by, which User is responsible for you, is a fantastic little idea and probably underplayed too much in the film.

The story is quite simple and neat, but then in some ways one can think that it's amazing the story is as coherent as it is - unlike many special effects driven films today there actually is a story that isn't just gluing all the set pieces together. The special effects themselves still stand up I think, they're a bit rough around the edges perhaps, but the design - especially of the characters themselves - is superb and the film feels a bit too short really; I really want to spend some more time getting to know these programs and Users!

Here's hoping that Tron 2.0 or whatever it will end up being called does justice to a film that is a little gem.

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