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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

trailer break: ‘Battle for Terra’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

I saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival last year — in 2D, and it was titled simply Terra then — and I quite liked it. It flips some conventions of cinematic science fiction around: the humans are the aliens, for one, which is a refreshing change. That simple shift in perspective makes this more science-fictional than most movies labeled SF ever are. Humanity is not the “default,” not the norm, in the world of this movie — and when you remove the inherent chauvinism that seeing things only through your own eyes inevitably creates, you start to see that the things you think are so may not necessarily be so.

The aliens — that is, the aliens to our human eyes — are somewhat more alien than most cinematic SF usually bothers with, both biologically and culturally. That’s cool, too. Yeah, there’s a cute little wisecracking robot, but we can’t expect too much deviation from the norm, can we?

Battle for Terra opens in the U.S. on May 1; no U.K. release date has been announced yet.

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