Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cool Sci Fi Flick - Europa Report

Damn, I really should update this blog more often!

Okay, so here goes. I've never been very into Sci-fi flicks ( unless they had a horror/thriller element ) but Europa Report was definitely an exception. This is a found footage film, which tells us the story of the first manned mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons which is believed to have immense oceans beneath its icy surface and possibly, extraterrestrial life. Now, the fact is that Europa has a surface of ice and its atmosphere primarily contains oxygen and other potential raw materials of life. Scientists have even suggested hypothetical models that make it possible for Europa’s oceans to support complex life forms so we know that the movie has chosen a realistic possibility for its storyline.

Okay, getting back to the movie.

A six person crew is sent on a 3 year mission to Europa but we know from the start that their voyage was doomed. There are cameras everywhere in the ship - Europa One, to allow people on Earth follow the mission’s progress. Around nine months into the flight, the ship loses communications with Earth. Despite this setback, the international team of six astronauts continues their mission to search for evidence of life in the solar system and slowly, things go wrong one by one. By the end of the film, communication with Earth is restored and all the footage of the missing months is recovered too. The film represents the accumulation of all those lost months of footage. How the mission went wrong is told using this footage, edited and narrated by the ground commander. Once they touch down on Europa, strange things begin happening outside.

The film is chronologically out of order, making it a little confusing and for a while there’s misdirection regarding whether certain characters are alive or dead.

To make the film as realistic as possible, its team asked two scientists working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to consult during production and post-production of the film. That's not all, the filmmakers even used footage from NASA's Juno launch to Jupiter as a stand-in for the launch of Europa 1. The science blog io9 called it the most painstakingly accurate space movie they've seen in ages (http://io9.com/europa-report-at-last-a-space-thriller-worth-taking-s-493192948)

For more about Jupiter's moon Europa, check out this amazing infographic -

Find out about Europa, a watery moon of Jupiter, in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

Europa report recently released in the US, and is playing in theaters now so if you find this interesting, please go watch it.