Sunday, August 17, 2008
There Will Come Soft Rains
Though the three classic science-fiction stories Jon Levin has adapted for There Will Come Soft Rains are warnings of how unfortunately easy it is to destroy what is so hard to create, thanks to some imaginative direction, these shorts thankfully preserve and enhance the material instead. Whether you're familiar with Stanislaw Lem, Bill Pronzini (and Barry N. Malzberg), and Ray Bradbury or not, these works, using puppetry, symbolism, and holograms, successfully leap from the page to the stage. The performances are perfunctory, showcasing the stories rather than the actors, but Levin's direction is sublime, really capturing the powerful, lingering images of each tale, from the sight of actors slowly turning out all the lights in the universe to that of photographic flashes revealing the atomized remains of a family, emblazoned in white on an otherwise ash-covered wall. Though the stories warn us of how unfortunately easy it is to destroy what is so hard to create, this adaptation, far from robotic, thankfully preserves and enhances instead. On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being "I'd rather be probed" and 5 being "Out of this world," There Will Come Soft Rains gets a 4.