STARGATE

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STARGATE. Roland Emmerich, dir. and co-author, with Dean Devlin, of script. USA: MGM/UA (dist.), 1994. Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson (as Ra), featured players. "Mario Kassar presents a Le Studio Canal + / Centropolis Film production in association with Carolco Pictures Inc."

Minor film esthetically, important here for a fairly literal mechanical god—a high-tech Ra—and a portal to another world that is imagined as high-tech Egyptian mystical. Combines Erich Von Daniken (sp from Amazon.com) with (A. C.) Clarke's Third Law: the technology of a dying alien is sufficiently advanced to make him a god to ancient Terrans, one or more of whom he possesses and a larger group he enslaves. The incredibly overengineered technology of the aliens/Egyptians is visually Neat! but narratively threatening; the final rebellion against such high-tech is emphatically "contained" within respect for late 20th-c. military forms. Pre-final cut preview by Tim Prokop, Cinefantastique 25.5 (Nov. 1994): 46-47; CAUTION: the film TP describes is not exactly the release version in Nov. 1994.

(RDE, 30/X/94)