Monday, March 20, 2006

Thank God we invented the blue ashtray!

A couple of times in the past week, I've seen a clip from the new film version of Christopher Buckley's Thank You For Smoking. In the clip, Aaron Eckhart and Rob Lowe discuss adding cigarettes as product placement to a science fiction film.
Lowe: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.
Eckhart: Cigarettes in space?
Lowe: It's the final frontier, Nick.
Eckhart: But wouldn't they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
Lowe: Probably. But it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue. 'Thank God we invented the... ' you know, whatever device.

From Resurrection of the Daleks.

The smoking in space presented here was supposed to have been a directorial decision - it shows that the sense of professionalism has broken down. The episode was targeted by parents' groups who felt that the smoking was glorified (the argument being, as it often is, that if something is shown to exist then it is being glorified).

I like how the ashtray sticks out on the console, the sole bit of color in a sea of grim and oppressive technology. Also the design; I'd hate to be in the control room in some emergency when the gravity gets shut off and the great big cloud of spent ash and squished out butts comes flying at me.

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