FILM preview Square go
After a summer of big-bang movies that ended up as damp squibs, Cube provides unexpected thrills.
Words: Nigel Floyd
With special effects technology improving at an extraordinary rate, and Hollywood movie budgets headed for the stratosphere, modern science fiction cinema has become increasingly obsessed with spectacle, hardware and explosions — at the expense of human beings and ideas. The remarkable thing about Vincenzo Natali's Cube is that — although it gives the impreSSion of taking place inside a labyrinth of identical cubes — the whole film was
'The major problem that we
have as human beings lies
within ourselves. If it's this gargantuan monster outside yourself, then there's no hope.’
shot on one set, for Just $50,000.
’The entire set consisted of one full plexi-glass cube and one partial cube,’ admits Natali 'When it came to the actual filming, it was hard to fit the entire cast and crew into that confined
space and Still be able to work, without going completely mad,’
Going completely mad is also the theme of the Canadian director’s spatially confined, intellectually expansive movie. Six very different individuals — an angry ex-cop, a timid maths student, an uptight female shrink, an unassuming office clerk, an autistic man and a iailbird - wake up inside a three—dimensional maze of inter-locking cubical chambers. None of them knows how they got there, or who is behind this bizarre, terrifying experiment.
'The idea that these peOpIe are being manipulated by a power that they cannot comprehend is much more frightening than if they and the audience were able to put a face to it,’ reckons Natali. ’I personally emoy ambiguity. I like gomg for a cup of coffee after the mowe, and discussing what it was all about.’
Cube explores the idea that the 'monster’ exists not as an entity in its own right, but within the psyches of the trapped characters. 'Cube really has two narrative threads,’ Natali says. ’One is the story of how these characters wrll solve the puzzle, the other story is how they get along, or don’t get along, as the case may be. I'm really interested in this idea that the major problem that we have as human beings lies Within ourselves Which i find very reassming, because if the
Maze prison: the cast of Cube take it lying down
problem lies within yourself, maybe there’s a chance to conquer it. Whereas, if it's this gargantuan monster outside yourself, then there’s no hope.
'80 that, for me, is the message of the film < if only these people could somehow get along, then they would Surwve. Because, in a way, the maze plays fair. it doesn't (harige the rules on you, and all the answers are there if
you look for them. What you really have to watch out for is the other people in the maze, because they can be (IUDIICIIOUS, they can be secretive, and they don't play fair.
’Lord Of The Flies is my all-time fav0urite book, and I guess | just keep going back and plundering it '
Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 2 Oct. Edinburgh Filmhouse from Fri 9 Oct.
“STOPENDOIIS ruck ‘N' HOllEHOOASTEI' OF A COMEDY TﬂRlllER...
llle DESI BRITISH Fllm since TRaINSPOTTINC.'§' Ii
rumoQuu vacuum cum 1mm m mama
rite m BEFIIIHS III”
’ OCTOBER 1
JASON MW ROBERT TOW
AT CINEMAS NATIONWIDE FROM OCTOBER 2
22 THE LIST 24 Sep—8 Oct 1998