Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sync Log: Alien Dreaming edition

What incredible timing- I had read about this, but had no idea how explicit it was until seeing this new Transformers trailer. You X-Files fans out there are probably gob-smacked as well. The artefacts, the symbols, the psychic powers.

Sam Witwicky: "I just had a full-blown mental meltdown in the middle of my class."

Diana: "He called me. I found him in a university stairwell. He could barely speak. He said I was the only one who'd believe him-- about an artifact."

Again- Shia LaBoeuf (birthday 6/11) appeared in the X-Files episode produced just prior to "The Sixth Extinction."


  1. Oh my - I might have to try and watch that at some point.

    Almost lost amid the blistering torrent of images and symbolism, at 1:14 and 1:19 is a building that really reminded me of the Treasury at Petra. Looking at photos I realised it wasn't and the general Egyptian setting would argue against. However, you don't often see it from the angle at 1:19 and I found this photograph - although it says it is the Treasury, it isn't (the Treasury has more prominent columns at the front and has a lot of cliff above (see this Quicktime panorama). However, the building is at Petra (see also) and is even featured on the Wikipedia page - it is El Deir ("The Monastery")

    The significance is, as I'm sure quite a lot of people know, is that the outside of the Treasury was used as the location of the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    I'd bet good money it is Petra (at 1:14 you can see damage to the lintel of the door which also shows up in some photographs) and if so then they went out of their way to get those shots, if it isn't then someone has managed to scout a location that is the duplicate of the building. Why? For a quick nod to the Holy Grail?

    All very odd.

  2. My question is a bit more mundane- why has Shia LaBoeuf been featured in three different ancient-astronaut franchises?

  3. Oh wait- I get it:

    Date of Birth:
    11 June 1986, Los Angeles, California, USA more
    View agent, manager, publicist, legal and company contact info on IMDbPro.
    Mini Biography:
    Shia Saide LaBeouf was born June 11, 1986, in Los Angeles, California... more
    Won a Daytime Emmy award in 2003 for Outstanding Performer in a Children's... more
    STARmeter: ?
    Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
    11 wins & 17 nominations more

  4. OK doing some further digging I find big parts of it were indeed shot in Jordan, including Petra. The blog entry even mentions Indiana Jones, the quote in full is worth reading:

    "Petra may be familiar to many for its use in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Exactly what the areas in Jordan are being used for, the pictures are examples of the area, not set related, in the movie is unknown but I am sure it ties directly into the Egyptian shoot and a possible tie-in it seems the movie will establish between Transformers and human civilization."

    It got a big feature in Variety - apparently it is standing in for Morocco.

    Some more in an interview on locations (I assume trying it justify the $700 million he spent):

    "It's epic in scale. It goes around the world. We shot in sites – the first film to shoot on the pyramids in like 40 years, 30 years, or something like that. We shot on Petra which is the first time it's ever been in a movie – the top of Petra. "

    Despite the fact that Egypt is still not 100% safe and Jordan is a neighbour of Iraq - you'd think Morocco would be safer!! I can't really imagine that was a consideration though.

  5. And one of those AAT connections is through Indian Jones.

    Shia is Hebrew for "Gift from God" and LaBeouf can mean "the ox" - which together could imply... what? Sacrificial cattle (in the comments on the previous thread someone mentions his role in Indian Jones is as the Jesus figure, who could have been described as a gift from God to mankind so that his sacrifice takes away our sins, or something similar)? Also his dad was a mime and rodeo clown (Trickster?) and his father's mother was connected to Allen Ginsberg (so a drugs/entheogens link lows in his veins) - which have a kind of mythical quality to them.

    Of course, when I think Shia I think Shia Islam and their largest branch are the Twelvers who believe the Mahdi (the twelfth and hidden Imam) is due to return and bring about the end of the world. At the end of last year it was claimed that the election of Obama was seen as the fulfilment of a prophecy that would usher in The End of the World (unsettling when this apocalyptic ideology is prominent in the leaders of Iran). Not that it need have anything to do with anything but it is what sprung to mind.

  6. I had John Turturro sit right next to me on the subway a month or so ago. Quite en awkward guy, he started waving at the people staring at him.

  7. Man, if I ever met John Turturro I'd be starstruck and just stare too.

    "Why has Shia LaBoeuf been featured in three different ancient-astronaut franchises?"

    It seems like most Hollywood actors are under contractual terms to portray at least one ancient archetypal god, either in tricky metaphor or allegory, or in blatant in-your-face passion-play. That's just the way I see it, though.

  8. Well, the other thing is that Hollywood likes to pick and It Boy and put him in all of the big budget pictures while they're hot and new. Chris O'Donnell, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Ewan McGregor. The problem is that these guys have a habit of peaking early and burning everyone out. I don't see a lot of staying power with LaBoeuf, but maybe he'll develop.

  9. The trailer is up at various sites now and most have it in HD. I was mesmerized by this bootlegged clip earlier today; the actual trailer, in all its CGI glory, was simultaneously more and less exciting to watch. More, because I could see what was actually going on in the trailer...less, because the choppiness/obfuscation of the bootleg made watching it feel more like codebreaking.

  10. I just stumbled over the news that the writer of the lastest Transformers film, Ehren Kruger, is set to write the Videodrome remake:

    "The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller."

    While my gut reaction is that it might not be a great idea (especially being a fan of the original) I suppose I'll have to check it out and it will be interesting to see what directions it goes in.

  11. Not really related to your post.

    But Mulder towards the very end with Scully's "get up" dialogue.

    Mulder is in cruxifiction pose. And the symbolism of the cruxifiction according to the big J.C (Joseph Campbell) is the transcendent being put into the forms of time. The forms of suffering, pleasure etc. Maybe this symbolism is only apt. for Mulder's character, or maybe it has a wider spectra (sorry - I do not know)but Mulder does not live for the pleasure's and the pains, but for that little voice of destiny that allows him to continually fight for his bliss (even if that involves goverenment conspiracies and UFO's)

    I know the cruxification pose in itself is not very important, it may aswell be Buddha putting out his hands and stopping the thousand spears that Mara throws at him and turn into celestial flowers (cf. The matrix and Agent Smith when they fire the bullets at him) Or shiva with his hand saying "do not be afraid"

    But does that pose of Mulder have any wider relevance?