The Music of the Spheres (1984)

Article 3017 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-11-2009
Posting Date: 11-17-2009
Directed by Philip Jackson
Featuring Anne Dansereau, Peter Brikmanis, Jacques Couture
Country: Canada

After an economic collapse in the future, the world is controlled by semi-sentient computers which have psychic connections with their human counterparts. When a project is initiated that involves the shifting of asteroids out of their orbits, a computer known simply as The Beast begins receiving communications from outside the system… despite the fact that this is impossible.

Sometimes the title of the movie can tell you quite a bit about it. In this case, the title prepared me for something out of the ordinary, with touches of poetry and mysticism. In many ways, that odd sense permeates the movie itself; from the opening credits (which are listed in both English and French, which should clue you off that this one comes from Canada) to the incessant chatter of radio voices to the lyrical music to the off-putting acting style, there is a real sense of something different here. It should be no surprise that it’s an art movie, and an extremely cheap one at that. The acting style is most striking; characters often deliver their lines as if they’re not quite in the moment, and though this may seem amateurish, it also somehow fits the feel of everything else. It’s often rather static; we have long conversations that are occasionally impenetrable, and anyone expecting much in the way of action will be very disappointed. I’m not surprised that the movie has a 4.1 rating on IMDB; I can easily see this movie annoying and boring many viewers. I myself can’t quite dismiss it; there IS something going on in these static conversations, I became fascinated by the choices of names for the various people, places and things (“The Beast”, “Melody”, “Einstein”, “Atlantis”). Maybe it’s all piffle, but if so, it’s interesting piffle, and I plan to watch it again some time to sort out more of the details. And it’s also fun to catch another movie about men moving asteroids around so soon after MOON ZERO TWO.

P.S. In the interim between the time I first wrote this review, the IMDB rating of this movie has moved up to 5.6. It looks like the reputation of this one is beginning to rise.

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