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TelePresence Almost Done...

But before it's finished:

I've got a Los Angeles teenager in the late 21st century who is fond of old fantasy and science fiction films. I need a list of five to ten films that are likely to be his favorites.

Any suggestions?

Also, to make this SFnal, anyone want to give me a title or two for a SF film from the 2020's or 2030's? :-) If I use yours, I'll Tuckerize you.


Loving the idea that our current stuff will be "old" F&SF films.

It is hard to say. I don't know how many people thought Star Wars was going to be as huge as it was when it first came out.

Here are my thoughts:
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow [cheesy and the first film where "they almost did away with actors!"]
Matrix [with those primative special effects]
Simone [*I* think it is SF anyhow]
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy [duh]

As for future ones:
Ender's Game [Though he'll never have read the book and it will be butchered such that Bean is really the HERO]
Razmatazz Crew [Some Fantasy movie... now I have to go write the story]
Star Trek XX [*groan*]

Ender's Game! Of course. But you're already being Tuckerized...
I second "S1MONE" and "Matrix."

How about "Hacking Fnord" or "Dorato Positive" or "Gene Factor X?" :) I just wanna be Tuckerized.
Oh, you will be Tuckerized at some point. But I think I'm going to go with some other titles. Out of curiosity, however, do you know what those films are about?

Star Wars of any stripe. If you're feeling particularly foolish, put episodes 7-9 as the "future" movies.

For present movies, maybe:

Matrix (y'know, for something made back when human/computer interface wasn't a reality yet, it was surprisingly prescient...)
Serenity, since by the time your story's published, it'll be out. Refer to it as "a classic, one of the best films ever made."
and Blade Runner, just for flavor.

As for future films, maybe use one of your short stories, if that doesn't count as auto-Tuckerization.
ooh. How about Callahan's Crosstime Saloon?
I second Callahan's with, of course, a mention of all the chase scenes because, you know, that's so Spider (much like all those chase scenes in I, Robot were so Isaac).
ok, i believe that 100 years from now The Dark Crystal will still bring awe to the hearts and minds of fantasy-loveing people. I mean, the craft of it and the sheer beauty and the timelessness of the theams are just... yea.

I nth the submission for The Matrix, because it pioneered effects that are currently being used to death in this era, that will later be seen as a halmark of this-era's action films. and better yet, the matrix (just the first one, i mean, i liked the other two, but they are completely different types of movies) just revolutionized the genre by makeing it slightly more mainstrem acceptable, and really revolutionary movies end up becoming classics (for example, metropolis and star wars. those are both considered present classics, and at the time were new and novel. it also couldn't hurt to put those in, depending on how vintage you want this kids tastes to be)

I also am going to have to vote for The Fifth Element just 'cause it's one of my favorites, and it's a pritty solid piece of SF (like i think all the technology of the movie hold up) and there aren't that many holes in the story, also it makes fun of itself. i mean, come on!

As for future stuff, you know that it really only IS a matter of time until Ender's Game is made into a movie, it might be after Orson Scott Card dies, but it is virtually inevitable.

Also, you should movie-ize one of your stories, just for, i dunno, something funny, a bit of patting yourself on the back. and i know your kinda modest, which is why i'm giving yourself permission to do so. :-)

Oh, and don't make another Star Trek Movie. Make the people at Paramount work harder before giving them any credit. 'Cause, in my opinion, the stuff they are putting out now is crap, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon, no not even as far off as 2030.

I wouldn't have thought of The Dark Crystal, but I'm not sure it would appeal to this particular character.

As I noted above, I'm using The Matrix.

The Fifth Element had some great scenes of a future New York City, but I'm not sure it'll be on this kid's list.

And relax: the kid's not interested in any Trek films. :-)
Given the number of movie remakes of late combined with the value of a classic story, my bet would be on a remake of "Charly" ("Flowers for Algernon") in about 2012, just as research is getting to the point where it's starting to look really prescient.
Hmmm...I bet you're right that there will be a remake of Charly, and perhaps they'll call it Flowers for Algernon.
I always thought there was a great movie in The Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson)

Any random combination of words will, more often than not, turn into a good name for a rock band. Ditto for Hollywood blockbusters. Therefore:

Earth Attacks!
Marmot II: Renewal
Acropolis Now
1337: t3h m0v13

Only one of those is likely, I suppose. I guess I've no head for seriousness. Which is why I am writing this comment instead of studying statistics.
furthermore, html is beyond me. speaking of which:


(an 'X' is very edgy, I'm told)
Extant movies:
we don't really know much about his personality - is he silly (Galaxy Quest!) or excitable (Terminator 2) or philosophical (Ghost in the Shell)?

Future Sequels:
Terminator 4

Future adaptations of extant media:
Startide Rising
Steel Beach
Good Omens

Original future movies:
Green Tigers
The Atlantis Incident
Steam Ranger
The Atlantis Incident sounds interesting...
oooh. Why don't you use some of the rejected titles from you last Tuckerization post?

I don't see 12 Monkeys, 2001, Empire, or Galaxy Quest mentioned.

Hate to say it, but most filmed Sf is only starting to catch on to the stuff written in the 1960s. So a lot of my favorites are sorta-SF films like Ed Wood and Rocky Horror, Brazil and Young Frankenstein (Puttin' on the ritz!).

There'll likely be a spate of 911 films coming up in the next five years or so. I can see Hollywood making a bastard version out of "In the Shadow of No Towers", or perhaps something like "Airport: Battery Park" if they get truly tasteless.

Life in Iraq, Palestinian life, big oil, will all be big topics. As will conspiracy-theory films about what really happened in the 2000 election, ala "All the President's Men". So you'd get stuff like: "Baghdad Blowup", "The Jerusalem Express", "Black Gold in Little Tunisia", "Floridian High Court".
I'd say this is a given, but I'd think it fun to describe the postmodern commentary and critical acclaim finally give to Plan 9 From Outer Space *grin*.

As for a futuristic title, I'd say "BreedLaw."
Plan 9 From Outer Space might very well be considered a classic...

Just a few people might not think of.

Blade Runner - classic SciFi/Noir.
X-Men - A groundbreaking SciFi flick. Allowed the superhero genre to flourish
Eight Legged Freaks - I strongly believe this movie will be looked upon with the same reverence as Plan Nine From Outer Space
Tron - It's tron. What do I have to say?
The Last Starfighter - See: Tron
It's hard to answer without knowing more about this teenager and his culture.

Think of the novels from previous generations that we would classify as "science fiction". Utopian novels, like Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, were extremely popular in the late 19th century, but that whole subgenre pretty much died after WW1. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were a number of anti-feminist dystopian novels (i.e., novels based on the idea that if this Women's Lib thing goes on, society will become grotesquely corrupt) like Edmund Cooper's Five to Twelve and John Boyd's Sex and the High Command, which look ridiculous today.

What films (or novels or songs or whatever) from today will be popular in 2090? The ones that resonate with the things that people worry about, or look forward to, in 2090. Most of us have pretty much given up on the idea that if only society conformed to a particular model then all of our problems would be solved, so Looking Backward is no longer popular. We are no longer concerned that the birth-control pill will make men obsolete, so Five in Twelve is out of print. What will the cultural anxieties of 2090 be?

God willing, fifty years from now, some editor is going to try to decide which of your early works belongs in The Best of Michael A. Burstein, Volume I: The Early Years. If your character's list of favorite movies is too transparently a list of things that are popular today, then "TeleAbsence" won't make the cut for that anthology.
I think asking what will resonate with popular culture in 2090 is the wrong question. Almost by definition, popular culture in 2090 will be focused on stuff being made in 2090, which probably won't even be "movies" as we know them. A kid fascinated by ancient f&sf media in that world is in the same sort of position as a kid today who prefers Robert Louis Stevenson and Walter Scott to modern works -- there must be something he gets out of them that's *not* in the contemporary culture. In the case of a fan of "Treasure Island", that might be a romantic sense of adventure. I don't know enough about Michael's character to guess what that might be in his case.

But of course, the work I personally most want to done right for the screen, now that we miraculously have _The Lord of the Rings_, is _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_.

The Once and Future Films of Genre

You'll have to include a few of the movies that are now already considered film classics:

1) Metropolis (along with Dr. Caligari's Cabinet this is one of the first to mix film and art)

2) Things to Come (first SF film to capture the future for the first generation of genre fans--script by and based on a novel by Wells)

3) 2001 (second SF film to move critics and fans for a new generation)

4) Blade Runner (of course)

5) The Matrix (there will still be debate in the future over the intellectual quality because of differing fundamental belief systems although all will always admit to it's intellectual quality)

6) Donnie Darko (underground cult classic still building a broader audience--people will debate its theme, but all will be awed)

7) Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson's most pure masterpiece of film from every angle)

8) Princess Monoke (Best anime of all time--feat of beauty and theme and story)


Great Movies of the Popular Culture with Lasting Appeal

1) Star Wars (George Lucas' progeny will try making a third, commerically successful but highly forgettable series--the original series will be the only one that will weather the times)

2) Star Trek: The Third [Fourth?] Generation (This time they learned their lesson and manage to make both a good TV series and a good series of movies, quitting before the main characters are hobbling around on crutches yet still swinging punches at aliens five times their size)

3) Aliens (every ounce of originality has been squeezed out of this series; new movies they'll make and tout as just as good--hype the die-hard fans will believe for about twelve months)

4) Ender's Game (I agree they'll do this and make it fun, but it will be an intellectually dishonest travesty because some director will want to maul Card for his sometimes dubious politics--see
Starship Troopers)

5) Lord of the Rings

6) They'll finally make a good film out of one of William Gibson's stories.

7) Dune--the third time's the charm.

8) Hollywood will never stop loving Philip K. Dick (Martian Time-Slip, shortened to simply "Time-Slip," will be a fan favorite but the critical acclaim will go to The Man in the High Castle (the name will remain the same).

9) Robinson's Mars trilogy (a child fan of the 90s will fight for ten to twenty years to get this made and will finally find a cable channel that's willing to pull out the stops--making a highly popular cult TV program but flopping disasterously when they try to make it fit the big screen)


Re: The Once and Future Films of Genre

2001 and Matrix are in there.

Things to Come is really more of a historical oddity. I watched the film and doubted that anyone would watch it even today for enjoyment, but just for interest.
(and the film major drags out her soapbox)

Classic SF that I think he should be a fan of:

Fritz Lang's Metropolis
Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb (I say it's speculative fiction, dammit)
Forbidden Planet (yay for Shakespeare references and Robbie the Robot!)
Them! (Best cold-war red scare giant-bugs-as-metaphor-for-the-devouring-communist-female movie EVAR. Seriously, if you're a die-hard fan of old SF movies, you gotta be up on your cold war bugs-as-communist-metaphor films.)
It Came From Outer Space (see above)
War of the Worlds (see above)
Goijira (or any other crazy japanese monster movies, really)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (I mean, c'mon)
Night of the Living Dead (I don't care if it's Zombies! I still say it's speculative fiction!)

More recent SF films that should become classics in time:
Alien (Ripley is teh awesome)
Terminator and Terminator 2 (revolutionary, even if I wasn't a fan)
Ghostbusters (the first one, of course)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Blade Runner
Plenty of folks have already cast votes for the original Star Wars trilogy, The Matrix, and 2001, so I'll leave those be.

Likely future SF Adaptations:
Snow Crash
Y, the Last Man (probably shortened just to "Y")
Old Ones (an SF-horror-action hybrid where a plucky crew of space cartographers discovers Lovecraftian horrors in space; the wannabe-Aliens flick is so wooden and formulaic (and only tangientially related to Lovecraft) that it becomes an instant cult classic, spawning midnight screenings with elaborate drinking games at colleges and independent theaters across the nation)

Possible original future titles:
End Game (neural interface is developed; people jack in directly to play MMP style game; virus starts killing 'em all, cheeziness ensues)
Uncertainty Principle (mysteriously disappearing physicists!)
HeliX (to continue with that X-treme X theme)

Ooh, I agree about Y, the Last Man. That is one fantastic comic! :)

December 2016

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