Iron and Sky (just a little spoiler and some ACTA/SOPA/CRAP)

I tried to write in English again. I am sorry for sucking at this a bit. Hope you like it though.

So, I have been waiting for this day since I saw the first trailer of Iron Sky in 2006. It incorporated everything I want a good movie to be about: Fighting, battleships, Nazis, conspiracy theories … IN SPACE. Let’s just have a quick reminder about what the movie is about: Nazis on the dark side of the moon. Genius, just genius. In 2006 – the trailer was rudimentary and I didn’t really believe to be able to watch the movie any time soon. It was thrilling for me to see the progress over the years, watching on the homepage and the community, and then … finally … the world premiere in Berlin. Of course, where else? After buying the tickets, I tried not to think about it very much in order to lower the expectations. But when I sat down in the Friedrichstadtpalast looking onto the huge screen I thought for the first time about the possibility that this movie could be all bad. I mean, seriously, Nazis on the dark side of the moon gives much space to be trashy, even tacky, inappropriate and simply bad. I had no idea what I was going to see in the next two hours. The speech of the director right before the movie was quite likable although I personally thought that the early round of applause was … well: WHAT IF IT SUCKS? What if it was just another male-centered action movie contributing to Hollywood stupidity? So, the curtain was drawn and the movie started and … it got me right away. The first scene is showing a spaceship flying to the moon and the underlying music is quite unusual, but suitable and simply applicable. The tone of the movie was set and I was already dearly loving it. As I love the whole movie … it’s extremely funny, trenchant, satirical, surprising, accurate, full of good fights and … just brilliant. The story is suprisingly manifold, the characters are amazing and pretty diverse, the Bechdel-test is passed and I think it is probably the most impeccable action-sci-fi-comedy that has ever been made with a budget of 7 Million dollars. Additionally the whole movie was made possible by a vivid and engaging community that supported the movie from scratch. Iron Sky might reanimate the genre and redefine the scale for alike movies.

Anyway, the first funny and surprising moment is at the very beginning, when the Nazis capture one of the American astronauts. They uncover him and … he is black. The Nazis dealing with a black guy is very funny yet stirring and demonstrative, as is the handling of women. Naturally, the women in the Nazi universe are supposed to give birth to a hundred of Aryan babies and be a good mother (in Germany we are still dealing with that infamous myth about the perfect mother …), right beside the Fuhrer. But the young, of course beautiful (…. lookism is a problem really in the movie … in all movies … *sigh*) German girl Renate is also a scientist, a fighter with her very own personality. She is kind, a bit naive and the perfect nice girl really, but additionally smart and strong. She is the heroine of the movie. Yes, indeed, a kind girl with sexually attracting big eyes is the heroine of this movie by being smart and a kick ass fighter. She has a intrinsic interest for the earth and teaches the young. She is idealistic and really believes that the Nazis are peaceful. An still, she fights, is brave and clever. A perfect heroine. But there is more! The president of the US is a woman – although a parody of Sarah Palin, which is btw freaking hilarious – and her campaign manager is a really bad ass woman, who kind of freakishly falls for one of the Nazis. They don’t even once talk about a man but scheming, retaining power, …. It’s almost disturbing, ‚cause absolutely unconventional, to see so many female leading characters in a movie like that, not talking or fighting about a men, not in need for being rescued … talking at all!

The key scene here is the President talking about the war against the Nazis in space and the campaign manager asks „Who is your General Patton?“ And … of course it’s her, that crazy, cynical, power grabbing, sex addicted, revengefull, super hot barb wire. She is the General Patton. I felt like getting a stroke by delight! That makes t-h-r-e-e female leading characters, that do not talk about love interests (I mean of course there has to be some love and sex … of course it is heteronormative … but there are more women … like as if it were normal that a woman is a military commander etc.) and actually FIGHT BACK when being attacked. No need of a hero, no „Oh, I am a super successfull athlete/scientist/pilot on a normal basis, but I can’t cross that river without drowning instantly and need to be rescued ALL the time“ – crap. Nothing. It is probably the first time that women are portrayed that strong and yet casual in a sci-fi-action-blockbuster. At least what I have seen so far. They get attacked, they fight back. End of story.

Action movie have the strong tendency to portray women as some kind of muse for the hero, a pretty attachment that is strong and smart until the story needs the hero to rescue someone hot. I do understand that the target group is mostly supposed to be young men, but it is still wrong to make women weak, whiny people that need to be rescued ALL the time. Iron Sky breaks with this and I hope that a lot of movies will follow.

But apart from the story, the making of the movie is quote interesting. As I wrote, the whole movie had a budget of only 7.5 million dollar. A lot of that is fan-financed. From the announcement of the movie in 2006 to the premiere in Berlin managed to grow its international fan base who supported the movie much more than it had been expected in the beginning. In times of ACTA and SOPA, the shutdown of file hosters and torrent search engines where the entertainment industry tries more than ever to influence politics to make laws against the free use of the internet, Iron Sky seems to be big help to those who defend digital citizen rights.

Like with „Star Wreck – In the Pirkinning“ the Finnish director Timo Vuorensola has again accomplished to build up a broad fan base even before the premiere, which he did by smart and intensive marketing and allowing deep views into the course of production and its mechanics. Though the movie will be downloadable legally for free, it seems almost certain that it will be a box office hit. It feels good that projects like Iron Sky are pointing into a possible alternative future for the making and especially the financing of movies.
A future where movie companies do not want to defend out-dated business models against the desire of their own fans to see the movie as soon as possible. Where movie companies have a much closer relationship to their fan base, who might even be involved into the making process more closely. Where companies do not sue people for sharing files on the internet but encourage their fans to help with the marketing and share the word so that the selling of fan articles will help finance future movies of that kind.

Iron Sky topped my expectations and made my year so far. Seriously, you need to watch that movie and throw money on it at any way to prove that it works. You can make a sophisticated action movie that is funny, creative and portrays interesting characters, with amazing animation and a clever script. You don’t need big stars or a ridiculous amount of money. And you certainly don’t need whiny girls that have to be rescued!

And of course it is full of heteronormativity and oversexualization and you can of course criticize this kind of movies, but seriously: This movie is a brilliant piece of work in the action-sci-fi-comedian-genre.

Oh and there is a new Death Star – Götterdämmerung ( … I just love that movie <3)