2016 film directed by Denis Villeneuve
Arrival is a 2016 film about twelve mysterious spacecraft that appear around the world and a linguistics professor who is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.
- Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Written by Eric Heisserer, based on "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang.
Why are they here?
Dr. Louise BanksEdit
- I used to think this was the beginning of your story. Memory is a strange thing. It does not work like I thought it did. We are so bound by time. By its order...But now I'm not so sure I believe in beginnings and endings. There are days that define your story beyond your life. Like the day they arrived.
- Language is the foundation of civilization. It is the glue that holds a people together. It is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.
- So, Hannah...This is where your story begins. The day they departed...Despite knowing the journey...and where it leads...I embrace it. And I welcome every moment of it.
- Unlike all human written language, their writing is symbolic. It conveys meaning, it does not represent sound. Perhaps they view our form of writing as a wasted opportunity, passing every second communications channel. We have our friends in Pakistan to thank for their study on how the heptapods write. Because unlike speech, a logogram is free of time. Like their ship or their bodies. Their written language has no form or no direction. Linguists call this nonlinear orthography. Which raises the question: "Is this how they think?" Imagine you wanted to write a sentence using two hands, starting from either side. You'd have to know each word you wanted to use, as well as how much space they will occupy. A heptapod can write a complex sentence in two seconds effortlessly. It took us a month to make the simplest vocabulary.
- Agent Halpern: We're a world with no single leader. It's impossible to deal with just one of us.
- Col. Weber: [after playing a recording] How would you approach translating this? You hear any words? Phrases?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I do not... I do not know.
- Col. Weber: So what can you tell?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I can tell you that it is impossible to translate an audio file. I would need to be there to interact with them.
- Col. Weber: You did not need that for Farsi translation.
- Dr. Louise Banks: I did not need because I already knew the language, but this is...
- Col. Weber: I know what you're doing.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Tell me what I'm doing.
- Col. Weber: I'll not take you to Montana. It's all I can do to keep it turning into a tourist site for everybody who has a clearance.
- Dr. Louise Banks: I'm just telling you what it would take to do this job.
- Col. Weber: It is not a negotiation. If I leave here... your chance is gone. Good day.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Colonel...You mentioned Berkeley. Are you going to ask Danvers next?
- Col. Weber: Maybe.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Before you commit to him...ask him the Sanskrit word for "war" and its translation.
- Col. Weber: Good Morning.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Colonel?
- Col. Weber: Gravisti.
- Dr. Louise Banks: That's the word, but what did he say it means?
- Col. Weber: He said it means an argument. What does it really mean?
- Dr. Louise Banks: A desire for more cows.
- Col. Weber: Pack your bags.
- Agent Halpern: We have to consider the idea that our visitors are prodding us to fight among ourselves until only one faction prevails.
- Dr. Louise Banks: There's no evidence of that.
- Agent Halpern: Sure there is. Just grab a history book. The British with India, the German with Rwanda...
- Col. Weber: I don't want to take away from your success, but Dr. Banks, is it really the right approach? Try to teach them how to speak and read? That's gonna take long.
- Dr. Louise Banks: You're wrong! Its faster.
- Col. Weber: Everything you do here, I have to explain to a room full of men, whose first and last question is how can this be used against us. So you'll have to give me more than that!
- Dr. Louise Banks: Kangaroo.
- Col. Weber: What is that?
- Dr. Louise Banks: In 1770, Captain James Cook's ship ran aground off the coast of Australia and led a party, where they found the aboriginal people. One of the sailors pointed to the animals that hop around and put their babies in their pouch, And he asked what they were. The Aborigines said "kangaroo".
- Col. Weber: And your point is?
- Dr. Louise Banks: It wasn't until later that they learned that "kangaroo" means "I don't understand". So...I need this so that we don't misinterpret things in there, otherwise it is going to take 10 times as long.
- Col. Weber: I can sell that for now. But I need you to submit your vocabulary of words before the next session. Remember what happened to the Aborigines. A more advanced race, nearly wiped them out.
- [Col. Weber leaves]
- Ian Donnelly: It's a good story.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Thanks. It's not true, but it proves my point.
- Col. Weber: You have a vocabulary list for me?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I do.
- Col. Weber: You're gonna teach them, your name, and Ian's?
- Dr. Louise Banks: Yes, so that we can learn their names, if they have names, and then introduce pronouns later.
- Col. Weber: These are all grade-school words. Eat. Walk. Help me understand.
- [Dr. Banks writes "What is your purpose on Earth?" on the whiteboard]
- Dr. Louise Banks: Okay, this is where you want to get to, right?
- Col. Weber: That is the question.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Okay. So, first, we need to make sure that they understand what a question is. The nature of a request for information, along with a response. Then, we need to clarify the difference between a specific "you"...and a collective "you", because we don't want to know why 'Joe Alien' is here, we want to know why they all landed. And purpose requires an understanding of intent. We need to find out: do they make conscious choices, or is their motivation so instinctive that they don't understand a "why" question at all. And biggest of all, we need to have enough vocabulary with them, that we understand their answer.
- Col. Weber: I get it. Stick to your list. Just...Don't add anything to it.
- Ian Donnelly: You know, I was just thinking about you. You approach language like a mathematician. You know that right?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I will take that as a compliment.
- Ian Donnelly: But it is. And... I watched you steer us around these communication traps that I did not even know existed. What...? I guess this is why I'm still single.
- Dr. Louise Banks: Trust me, you can understand communication and still end up single.
- Ian Donnelly: How are you feeling?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I need some sleep, but...I am fine.
- Ian Donnelly: Yeah?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I've been doing a bit of reading about this idea that...What if you immerse yourself into a foreign language...You can actually rewire your brain.
- Ian Donnelly: It is a hypothesis.
- Dr. Louise Banks: It is a theory that...It is the theory that...The language you speak determines how you think. Yes, it affects how you see everything...
- Ian Donnelly: I'm curious. Are you dreaming in their language?
- Dr. Louise Banks: I've had some dreams. I don't think that makes me unfit to do this job.
- Dr. Louise Banks: God... are they...? They are using a game to communicate with the Heptopods?
- Col. Weber: Maybe... why?
- Dr. Louise Banks: Let's say I taught them chess instead of English. Every conversation would be a game, every idea expressed through opposition. Victory... defeat. You see the problem? If all I ever gave you was a hammer...
- Col. Weber: Everything's a nail. We need to ask the big question. Ready or not.
- Dr, Louise Banks: I know what it is.
- Ian Donnelly: What?
- Dr, Louise Banks: It's not a weapon. It's a gift. The weapon is their language. They gave it all to us.
- Ian Donnelly: So we can learn Heptopod?
- Dr, Louise Banks: If you learn it... really learn it, you get to perceive time the way they do. So you get to see what's to happen. But time, it isn't the same for them. It is not linear.
- Dr. Louise Banks: If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?
- Ian Donnelly: Maybe I would say what I feel more often than I... I don't know. [Looks up at the sky] You know I've had my head tilted up to the stars for as long as I can remember. You know what surprised me the most? It wasn't meeting them. It was meeting you.
- Amy Adams - Dr. Louise Banks
- Jeremy Renner - Ian Donnelly
- Forest Whitaker - U.S. Army Colonel G. T. Weber
- Michael Stuhlbarg - Agent David Halpern
- Tzi Ma - General Shang
- Mark O'Brien - Captain Marks
- Arrival quotes at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website