Searching for home
When we are done despoiling our water, air, land, and resources, where do we go? Can we go elsewhere? And in the vast immenseness of space, can we find a host-planet similar to Earth, with the same capacity to sustain human life?
Those are questions raised by the movie “Interstellar,” which hews close to writer-director Christopher Nolan’s other movies in that they raise provocative questions that leave the audience pondering common assumptions about the human condition and the state of reality. We know “Interstellar” is speculative fiction, but the film succeeds in disturbing our comfortable existence, and as with other Nolan films, leaves us questioning even the world that confronts us once we walk out of the dark theater.
Earth is on the brink of destruction when first we meet Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his family who live on a farm beset by dust storms. Then messages from a “ghost” takes them on a trip to a secret Nasa base where Cooper and his daughter Murphy meet Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway). Turns out Cooper is a former space pilot who is uniquely suited to take a space ship on a mission to search for a new home for humanity. Three planet candidates have already been scouted by previous missions. The team assembled with Cooper at the helm is tasked to visit each of these sites, determine which best suits the needs of humans, and either send word for a “delegation” of humans to start settling the planet, or populate it with a cargo of fertilized human eggs.
The planets lie in a region accessible by way of a wormhole near Saturn, but near a menacing black hole called “Gargantua.” Although the voyage to Saturn would take only two years in human time, time will be distorted the minute they land on the other side of the galaxy, such that an hour would be equivalent to seven years on Earth. “That’s relativity for you,” a fellow traveler quips.
* * *
AT ONE point in the film, a fellow astronaut demonstrates for Cooper the concept of a wormhole and how it short-cuts the seemingly endless voyage from one galaxy to another. He uses the device first used by Madeleine L’Engle in the book “A Wrinkle in Time,” in which a tesseract is demonstrated by folding a piece of paper and punching a hole that breaks through the limitations of physical distance.
Similar “echoes” of other science fiction films and books occur in “Interstellar,” such that at times the movie feels like a “greatest hits” sci-fi reel. When deciding what planet to visit next after the debacle of the first planet which turns out to be nothing but a gigantic surging ocean, Amelia Brand argues that “love” is another attribute that, like time, crosses the vastness of space. It recalls the movie “Contact,” based on a novel by Carl Sagan and starring Jodie Foster—and I’d be giving too much away if I share how this question is resolved in the later film.
There is more going on in “Interstellar,” and as a whole the movie holds out hope for humanity and our search for an alternative “Earth.” Although, I suppose, instead of crossing galaxies to find new worlds, we would be better off caring for this one planet that is our home. Our only home, really, outside the realms of imagination and science fiction.
* * *
SEVENTY percent of the units in Two Roxas Triangle, which will be completed only in 2019, have already been sold, we are told, but potential buyers still have a chance to take a glimpse of what awaits them when they visit the showroom at the Glorietta 3 Park, across from Makati Shangri-La.
The unit unveiled during the media briefing last Wednesday is one of the “smaller” units in the complex, a three-bedroom standard residence. What’s on show, though, is enough to whet the imagination and materialistic desires of viewers, such as our small group of media practitioners who oohed and aahed at the gourmet kitchen and its amenities, engineered wood flooring in the bedrooms, stone flooring in the public areas, and European-branded fixtures.
Designed by Anton Mendoza, the show unit hews to a largely neutral palette of dark wooden cabinets, “greige” wallpaper fashioned from native weaves, custom carpet designs, and minimalist furnishings highlighted by Philippine folk items and modern art.
The lifestyle evoked by the showroom is one of elegance and simplicity, the stark interiors highlighting the views through the full-length windows that, so Ayala Land Premiere staff told us, would be “breathtaking” from the upper floors.
* * *
INDEED, the units in Two Roxas Triangle (there will be a maximum of four units on every floor) are named after the city views they face: Dasmariñas, Urdaneta, Legazpi and Salcedo. There will be a total of 182 units, with five unit types of three-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments: Garden Residences, three-bedroom standard, Sky Residences, Penthouse Flats and Penthouse Bi-Levels.
The 52-story Two Roxas Triangle will be the final development of the Roxas Triangle Towers along Cruzada Street and Paseo de Roxas in Makati. It joins One Roxas Triangle (completed in 2001), currently considered the top-of-the-line residential development in Makati (if not the country) which houses families of the Philippine business elite (including show business), as well as expatriate executives and diplomats. The building is already 90-percent occupied, we are told. The property is developed by Roxas Land Corp., a joint venture of three entities: Ayala Land, Hong Kong Land, and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.