The world of visions

So I saw _Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow_ yesterday evening with [Char](http://xraystar.livejournal.com) out in a suburb of the city -- cheaper theatre, less crowded. It's a good reason to travel.

The movie was, as I expected, fundamentally empty. There was little to like about its characterizations, although the plot was interesting enough. I don't really see a need to go into it, so I'm not going to. What I _em_ going to go into is the visuals... More to the point, I'm going to go into the way those visuals affected me.

SCatWoT is one of the prettiest movies I've ever seen. Perhaps not _the_ prettiest, but it's up there. The cinematography is phenomenal, the sets are beautiful, the props appropriate, and the lighting was -- where it wasn't being done playboy-style, solarized-filter soft-focus -- gorgeous. It is evocative and inspiring. And it is completely unreal. From the greatest to the smallest scenes, the movie was completely false.

What really moved me was the choice of images. I must be nostalgic in some fashion, because the images of the zeppelins and airbases, the cities of pure straight towers, the towering angel, even the museum... These are all things that I wish were in our world. They are impractical, slow, and archaic, but at the same time they inspire such a swell of pride at even the very _idea_ that they might have existed...

This is the sentiment that this movie taps in me, much like the game [Crimson Skies](http://www.microsoft.com/games/crimsonskies/) does. It leaves me thinking sometimes that maybe, just maybe, if the world had gone differently -- if we, as a species, hadn't had to expend our lifeblood and energy fighting the cancer that ate Europe in WWII -- we might have achieved such things for ourselves. Who can say?

Alternate histories leave me thinking things like this when they're done well -- which this one is. The plot was iffy, but the story was grand and the world was majestic, and it took me away from this one for a couple of hours. It was good, I think.

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