So the movie “9” was mentioned today in class again and I’ve been mulling over writing a blog about my experience with the movie since seeing it last week.

First I want to say that the movie is great and you should all go see it. I’ve tried to eliminate spoilers as much as possible, but if you’re crazy hardcore about not know anything about a movie before you see it, you may save reading this for later. Otherwise read on friends.

The movie has a level of predetermined expectations for those familiar with Tim Burton and animated films. It has a very dark theme in a post human world. The movie also owns some of its design elements to steam punk, a fashion that is picked up and re-coined by the director/creator of the film as “stitch-punk” because the main characters are sort of sac puppets with mechanics inside.

This film was rich with metaphors. For starters there were 9 main characters that we meet throughout the film, all of which encompassing different traits of the human personality. We have (in order): Clever, kind, curious & shy (x2), healer, artistic, rebellious, clumsy/crude, and lastly the good hearted. These 9 characters encompass many of the traits of the human soul, all of which are exaggerated in each character’s personality.

The other very profound metaphor was the idea of technology sucking the soul from humanity. Not only was this metaphor present in the theme of the end of the world due to humanity putting too much trust in technology, but also in a very literal way that I will not go into too much detail here.

The movie also parallels other works including movies, books, and especially video games. I found the backstory to very similar to that of The Matrix trilogy in that the world has come to an end because of human-machine conflict. This dark dystopian future matches also in the fact that we have a group of protagonists hiding underground from the machine world which has been set out to destroy all that is left of humanity.

All of this story of death and rebirth is also found in religious text (at least one version anyway). The characters were created in the image of their creator, with each iteration getting more advanced. This in itself is designerly in the fact that there were iterations and improvements based on prior knowledge. The interesting twist is that the machine makes things in the image of nature. The antagonists are very unmachine-like, which can be seen as the artists/directors attempt to get the audience easily afraid of these beasts, as they are called. Each beast corresponds to a frightening predator; a large cat, a predatory bird, a snake, and lastly a scorpion. The snake again returns to the story of creation in the bible where it was a snake the lured in the the unsuspecting victim, much as the snake beast does in the movie.

The last point I wanted to touch in the movie, an area where I have expertise (at least enough for this class), and that is new media storytelling (see also underground). This movie’s plot plays out very much like a classic video game. The story begins with very little knowledge of what is happening. The viewer as well as the protagonist are thrown into a world that is very different from what we expect to see outside our windows. The plot unfolds through a series of dangerous journeys ending in an epic battle. After the battle there is dialog to fill in some gaps in the history, but the information is only enough to get you ready for the next journey. This theme repeats throughout the movie, much like the stages or levels of a video game which then end in a boss battle.

These storytelling methods along with the technology used to animated the film, help to take the viewer on a journey and experience the story from 9’s point of view, rather than as a third party viewing these events taking place. The viewer feels surrounded by the danger and due to the very human nature of each stitch punk’s personality they feel connected too.

The interesting thing about this movie is that everyone can get something different from it. If you’ve seen the movie I look forward to hearing about the metaphors you picked up on or disagreeing with my theory of the movie.

love and finally get around to blogging with jaMEs

p.s. Sorry this took so long to post…