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Arrival (2016)Arrival (2016)

It's the stuff of childhood fantasy.  And hey, about the time that this film was released, a lost essay by none other than Winston Churchill argued that it was probable that extraterrestrial life existed somewhere in the universe. When twelve alien aircraft touch down all around the world, jets scramble, cars crash, flights are canceled, stock markets plummet, and the National Guard enforces a curfew.  Why are they here?  Where did they come from?  What do they want?  Can they understand us? How did they get here?  Are they more or less advanced than us?  Good or evil?  Linguistics professor Louise Banks joins the physicist Ian Donnelly at a military base in Montana to decipher their strange "logograms."  The vocations of Louise and Ian are a tip off about the major themes of this film — the nature of time and language as the fundamentals that shape how we process reality.  They call the seven-limb creatures "heptapods," and Ian nicknames the two leaders that they encounter Abbott and Costello.  In fact, it turns out that the Golden Rule might be helpful.   And, if you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things? This science fiction thriller by director Denis Villeneuve was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and made numerous "Picture of the Year" lists.

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