District 9

Having trashed the lack of thought (and science) in Terminator Salvation, I was more than pleasantly surprised to come across this new South African SciFi movie District 9.

Based on a creepy short film called Alive in Joburg, it’s produced by Peter Jackson (yes, he of Lord of the Rings fame) and features a clever story about the arrival and integration of aliens in South Africa. In this case, these are non-human alien aliens – but there’s a lot of apartheid in there, and a lot about the disturbing attacks on refugees last year. It looks like it might – finally! – be the kind of South African story that works without a lot of messages and finger wagging and point scoring. Hurrah.

The movie itself doesn’t open until later this year, but viral campaign is running and the website’s gone live – offering a witty, multi-layered introduction to the origins, sociology, physiology and hardware/technology of the “non-human” aliens that are the focus of the film….. the kind of pre-production and respect for its audience that Terminator Salvation seemed to disdain.

Look out for signs reading “BUS BENCHES FOR HUMANS ONLY” at a bus stop near you……