"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Monday, June 12, 2006


you stare at the screen. you see this awesome sequence of distinct shapes, colors, and meshed sounds. first, you get the idea that you're actually looking at some part of the earth. then, you are pulled back. you're looking at floating big chunks of rocks. you are pulled back further until you see jupiter and its distinguishable red spot. next, you see saturn and its rings. you are pulled back continuously until what you know as the solar system fades in the distance and gives way to an even grander picture of stars, constellations, galaxies... whoa... the spectacular vastness of the universe unfolds before your very eyes and the next thing you know, you're looking straight into the eye of a comely girl saying, "CQ, this is W9GFO. come back."

if that seems too familiar, then perhaps you are a fan of the movie...

title: contact
year of release: 1997
director: robert zemeckis
story by: carl sagan and ann druyan
main cast: jodie foster, matthew mcconaughey, james woods, tom skerritt, and angela bassett

contact is one of those beautifully done films that i was not able to watch on the big screen -- something tells me that the experience would have been better (but it's too late for regrets. anyway, i don't have to fret -- i own an original copy of the movie and i have the book as well).

the opening sequence of the movie is the story of the movie itself. it takes one on a journey that starts within, here on earth, tunneling to somewhere, lending a breathtaking, incomprehensible sense of vastness which leads back to the heart of reality that paves way for inspirations and a sense of significance on top of thought-provoking insights.

"you are capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. you feel so lost, so cut off, so alone... only you're not. see, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other."
-- from the movie, contact

more than a year ago, i picked up a copy of contact (the movie) from the shelf and did not let go of it until i paid for it. i "officially" made it mine for these three big reasons: jodie foster, carl sagan, and extra-terrestrial intelligence -- not necessarily in that order.

"if it's just us, it seems like an awful waste of space."

throw in jodie's brand of acting, sagan's genius, zemeckis' talents, and add a good blend of special effects and background sound... then, proceed to tell an interesting story of how the world reacts to a message from one of the stars -- "contact" with "little green men" that are not little green men at all. the movie has both entertainment and considerable intellectual value. in contact, we have science fiction that is closer to science than mere fiction. in contact, we also have a woven picture of humanity, religion, politics and ambitions. all these elements contribute to an overwhelming movie-watching experience.

p.s. i love the book more than the movie. there's more drama, more character development, more picture of reality and undeniable scientific poetry in the book. dr. sagan pulled together the elements that pique my imagination well.


  1. contact indeed.

    my version would be (in this order):
    jodie foster, the search for truth, and carl sagan.

    i especially liked the conversations between eleonor and palmer, eleonor and her dad, and eleonor and the Vegan guy.

    too bad i lost my book to the termites. i have cosmos though. but i haven't read it yet.

  2. It's one of those movies that made me rethink about reality... seriously (and I think I was still in late elementary to early highschool years).

  3. gwapo_na_baktin, i find the relationship between ellie and palmer in the movie too forced but i like their conversations, too.

    you should have saved your book from those termites. in the book, plot development and the relationships between the characters are way better than in the movie.

    can i have your cosmos? haha, just testing the waters, so to speak... i'm keen on collecting sagan's works.

    ripplemaker, it's one of those movies that impressed on me how truth and reality are scattered on such a vast amount of space, the boundaries of which are beyond my imagination.

  4. it's always that way - the book is better than the movie. but what i appreciated about the movie was the dodec, and the 'V' symbolism (my highschool teacher pointed this one out).

    dapat lage. but i got to save my 100 years of solitude, youngblood and other non-fi religious books. so out of 30 something, barely 10 survived. :(

    cosmos? hehehe. im dying to get gold of a copy of Stephen Hawking's brief history of time.

    you can send it as a birthday gift na lang.

  5. gwapo_na_baktin, hmmmm... you want Hawking's ABHOT, i want Sagan's Cosmos. how about if we exhcange books? i lost my ABHOT copy (waaaaaaaaaaa), but i can buy another one just so i'll have something to swap with your cosmos, if you're okay with the idea of exchanging books. :) so what now? hehehe...

  6. Contact reminds me a lot of an earlier sci-fi flick, The Abyss starring Ed Harris... both main characters meet the aliens face to face at the end.


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