Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Challenge 19: IN FILM - Fifty years ago today

The following excerpt is from an early review of the film Can-can, published in this magazine exactly fifty years ago.

“Pol and his fellow Coca-Cola Canians have an accommodation problem.

Pol lives on a Coca-Cola can. A very, very large Coca-Cola can, which orbits around a star, much in the same way as our own planet Earth.

Unfortunately, a key industry in Pol's home planet involves drilling through the soft metal of the planet's crust to obtain and export the ever-popular fizzy drink. The redistribution of the Coca-Cola is resulting in a gradual loss of mass, a slowing of planetary rotation - and, eventually, the planet begins to drift away from its sun, cooling and becoming uninhabitable.

Follow Pol and his companions on their journey as they leave their solar system in a search for a new home.”

Can-can is an unusual exploration of outer space, with a hint of a late 20th- early 21st century environmental or social message hidden somewhere. The relatively understated acting and special effects, and the educational tone adopted, are particularly notable. Sadly, this film missed its own boat – released at a time when 3D movies and melodramatic science fiction were more popular than ever, Can-can was passed over by critics and moviegoers alike.

Much of the science in this film has now been disproven, and whatever environmental or social messages it hints at (far too vaguely, in this critic’s opinion) are of course far from topical now. However, Can-can’s failure is a valuable lesson – released a decade earlier, it could have been very successful, if not recognised as a classic.

While there is little use, or market, for such a film in the present day, Can-can should be included, as a counterbalance, in any study of 1990s – 2020s films, in order to better understand the mentality of filmgoers of the day.
Word count: 307
'Can-can' is a story I planned to write back in my second year of high school. I even wrote two pages of it. My response to this challenge originally started off as just a synopsis, but tearing it to pieces seemed like more fun.


  1. P.S. I acknowledge that I may have cheated slightly...

  2. Ahahhaa this is brilliant. I like it a lot!