FILM 1644: ARRIVAL
TRIVIA: Director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer created a fully functioning, visual, alien language. Heisserer, Villeneuve and their teams managed to create a "logogram bible," which included over a hundred different completely operative logo-grams, seventy-one of which are actually featured in the movie.
The inky circular alien language was created by Montreal artist Martine Bertrand. It is also the artist's son who created Hannah's drawings.
Louise tells Colonel Weber that the word 'kangaroo' comes from an historical misunderstanding, and actually means "I don't know", only to tell Ian that the story is untrue but illustrates her point. This is an actual myth, not just a made up story. It involves Lieutenant James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks who arrived in Australia in the 18th century, where they made contact with the Guugo Yimithirr, a coastal Aboriginal tribe. They were puzzled by the sight of a kangaroo, and asked a tribesman what it was. According to the myth, the tribesman responded with the word "gangurru", meaning "I don't understand" in his language. Banks mistook it for the local term for the animal, spelling it as "kanguru" in his diary. The myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland. In reality, the word gangurru specifically refers to the grey kangaroo in the Guugo Yimithirr language. When Cook and Banks traveled 1,400 miles inland, they encountered the Baagandji tribe, who were unfamiliar with the other tribe and the word gangurru, and thought it meant "unknown animal". The Baagandji then started to use the word to describe Cook's and Banks' horses.
While the shape of the ship was decided early on, Denis Villeneuve had great difficulty imagining an interior that would allow humans to easily navigate through such a steep and vertical design. The later decision to turn gravity sideways offered an obvious and convenient solution.
Ted Chiang, who wrote the story the film is based upon, approved the film, saying, "I think it's that rarest of the rare in that it's both a good movie and a good adaptation... And when you consider the track record of adaptations of written science fiction, that's almost literally a miracle."
"Dirty Sci-fi" is what director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Bradford Young called the look they created together for Arrival. Villeneuve wanted it to feel like "This was happening on a bad Tuesday morning, like when you were a kid on the school bus on a rainy day and you'd dream while looking out the window at the clouds."
Scandinavian photographer Martina Hoogland Ivanow was a major influence on cinematographer Bradford Young's look of this film, especially with her exhibition and book "Speedway."
In writing the story, Ted Chiang had in mind the following quote of the great physicist Albert Einstein: "The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
The siren emitted throughout the movie signaling the scientists' preparation to approach the ship is identical to the siren used in The Purge (2013) and its sequels.
Abbott and Costello resemble Kang and Kodos, the aliens from The Simpsons (1989) Treehouse of Horror segments.