Volume 95, Issue 19

Wednesday, October 3, 2001
Search the Archives:
Tips for searching
Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


Wright does writing thing

Blue Rodeo mosey into town with their greatest hits

The Dears tell a Bedtime Story

Think outside the box with Natali's Cube

Think outside the box with Natali's Cube

By Molly Duignan
Gazette Staff

Nicole de Boer, Nicky Gundagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

Imagine waking up in a strange, perfectly cubic room with nothing but the clothes on your back, no apparent escape and no recollection of why you are there or how you got there.

Then you notice that on all six sides of this cubic room is a portal door, which you have no idea how to open. You're alone, hungry, totally confused and you need to get out.

Vincenzo Natali's film, Cube explores the reactions of six ordinary strangers who wake up alone in empty square rooms. Without food or water, it's quickly evident these characters have only a few days to live. None knows how or why they've been sent there and they must collectively discover that each possesses a unique skill which may contribute to their collective escape.

Each door must be opened by cracking a unique code only decipherable by the combined talents of the trapped characters. Thus, the strangers must learn to work together in order to escape the massive, claustrophobic cell.

This is the simple, yet psychologically complex setting for Natali's first feature film which debuted when he was only 28.

The brilliant idea for Cube supposedly arose out of a "religious experience" the director had while watching Star Wars for the first time. Regardless of inspiration, Cube is a movie that transcends contemporary film ideas.

Cube could be classified as contemplative science fiction. The film's poster mantra of "Fear-Paranoia-Suspicion-Desperation" encompasses the film perfectly. This picture is outside of the typical viewer's realm of reality, but one can understand and sympathize with the plight of each character.

The semi-omniscient viewer sees each person set forth on their individual quest to get out of what seems to be an endless maze of interlocking cubical chambers armed with lethal booby traps. Although nothing is ever explained, Cube maintains its entertainment value.

While somewhat vague, the film is a simultaneously compelling experience. The viewer joins the characters in the painful realization that unless they can solve the puzzle by co-operating, they will most likely die.

The claustrophobic and invading nature of Cube reveals a lot about people's character in chaotic and crowded states. In this simple setting are some nerve-shredding scenes that push the boundaries of both reality and the human capacity for loss.

Watching Cube may be a tedious task for teen-drama loving, romantic comedy aficionados, but if you're at all interested in a complex, challenging plot, the experience is original and entertaining.

Rather than the eye-boggling, big budget variety of contemporary Sci-Fi, Cube knows its limits and pushes them ever so slightly, instead of going completely over the top.

Perhaps the rare talent and honest artistry involved in Cube are what make it so unattainable, seeing as it's not usually available for rent at any major video stores.

Although it may prove difficult to find, Cube is a thought-provoking film well worth the search.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2001