Nov 23, 2014

FEAR AND ILLUSION: Christopher Nolan’s "Interstellar"

"Interstellar" is an ambitious project by Christopher Nolan and, without a doubt, one of the biggest Hollywood movies of recent years. Other than its grand special-effects, the film is a curious exploration, a snapshot, of the contemporary post-Christian era.

Beginning at the turn of the 19th - 20th centuries, the search for so-called "new religious consciousness", designed in the form of a surrogate to quench the spiritual thirst of the Western world, led to a two hundred year obsession with rationalism and materialism, which exploded during 1960s youth counterculture, followed by the creation of numerous Orientalist sects. Through repression of Christianity did not suddenly begin in the twentieth century, but its grand scale is the reality of our times.

Nolan tries to satisfy the needs of modern man’s unconscious with a “miracle”, relying on "New Age" ideas of absurd, quasi-scientific theories as justification for "mystical insight". In this sense, "Interstellar" moves within the cultural mainstream, so popular today promoting the idea of individual empowerment through technology, which, among other things, attempting to acquire all the features of a "spiritual" journey.

The film sends out a message, rooted in the Western mass consciousness: the joyful anticipation of the "new era", the desire to step beyond the bounds of what is permitted by God and the fear of losing our most loved, such as, family and home.

In the first scene the audience is faced with a possible future: total destruction of Earth, the result of natural disasters. But for the Christian consciousness it is a sign of approaching the Last Days and the need for repentance from the "New Age".

Hollywood, in pursuit of providing audiences a spectacle, offer lukewarm spirituality, unable to provide answers to questions about the meaning of life. The question of God's existence does not arise in the film, even though throughout the film the hero (Matthew McConaughey) frequently cites Scripture and even the spaceship is named "Lazarus".

It is no wonder the film’s spiritual foundations are shaky and confusing: it expresses the most hodgepodge of ideas and concepts, which is equivalent to modern society’s mass consciousness in the complete absence of moral hierarchy and need for God. Modern man constantly feels threatened by unseen and physical forces (terrorists, natural disasters) and inside his own passions. He longs to escape, but does not want to make even the slightest effort, nor does he wish to blame himself, instead looking for an answer in dark superstitions, scientific theories and space itself.

The fact that today spiritualism (as dealt in the film) seeks the theme of outer-space shows the futility of modern civilization not wanting any reason to turn its gaze to God. Flying in space, passing through "wormholes" and "black hole", the cold glow of interstellar space, landing on the wrong planet are all attempts to satisfy the craving of modern man for something beyond himself. But it is this unbelief which makes him spiritually hungry.

It is interesting to think looking back on history, the alterative sub-cultures of the 1960s were completely void of fear because their existentialist, hedonistic lifestyles prevented them from realising damage being done to the world. Yet today we are experiencing the complete opposite: people are afraid of everything, but God.

Original article: Fear and Illusion: Reflection on C. Nolan’s “Interstellar”, Alexander Popov, 18 Nov 2014
Translated and edited by OFA using GoogleTranslator.


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