There are two sort of science fiction films out int he cinema at the moment.The “Logan’s Run For Kiddies” romp City Of Ember, and the “Enemy Of The State meets Stealth by way of Foul Play for idiots” that is Eagle-Eye. City Of Ember is a superior entertainment, dealing with a deliberately vague post-apolacyptic world via Heath Robinson devices, and a world lit by ropey old fillament lightbulbs. You’d think what with the perilous supply of energy in an underground city, they would use Energy Saving Lightbulbs, but perhaps there is an issue with quality of light. It also means that like Eagle-Eye, its eternity and otherworldliness is predicated on the current favourite sci-fi theme: black and gold.

Eagle-Eye also uses lots of gold lightbulbs as part of the make-up of the supercomputer Aria. The moment you see the full extent of lighting in the construction of Aria you know that those lightbulbs are going to explode in an entertaining fashion at the end of the film. (An end of the film that also includes people surviving falling in a vat of liquid nitrogen). Because you wouldn’t build a supercomputer with a thousand large lightbulbs in it for any other reasons. Other hints when building your giant supercomputer:
a) Give it a New Jersey Accent. Or a Cornish accent. Softly spoken received pronunciation supercomputers ALWAYS go mad (see Hal, that plane in Stealth, Demon Seed and Julianne Moore’s Aria in Eagle-Eye).
b) Don’t plug them directly into the security system. Beta test them a bit first.
c) That single red eyeball thing. STOP IT!

Anyway, science fiction, like everything else, goes in fashions. From the stark whites of a lot of seventies sci-fi, getting over-desiged but grottier via Alien ending at the night-vision rainy grainy greens of much recent science fiction. These black and golds are just another step in showing worlds that look more awesome than they make sense (really, that supercomputer is the dumpest thing EVER!)

I blame Sam Sparro. Well I blame Eagle-Eye Cherry too, but he hasn’t recorded a version of Black And Gold yet.