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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.


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.

Re: The Once and Future Films of Genre

You're right, in the sense that this is Wells in his most didactic period. A couple of issues with this assessment, however--one minor (mine), the other major (the genre's).

Personally, I thought the tin-pot dictator was charmingly tough--especially in the face of a power far stronger than he. Sort of like a second grade bully trying to talk tough to his body-building teacher.

Secondly, it is of huge historical import--even if it's difficult pill to swallow. The first generation of fandom thought of this as the real future. At the last Campbell conference an impressive cadre of SF giants all resounded to James Gunn's question of what was the first real SF movie. It was as if there was no other possible response. For them, Hollywood had been (and is) engaged in silly space entertainments while Wells showed how the future must be done. What appears to have imppressed them most was the final line which summed their feelings for the future--a line which I cannot remember off hand, of course.

So truly, the film did much to shape the things to come--even if now it appears outdated. What artifact of SF does not?

You may want to consult the July 1998 issue of F&SF for other possible people to Tuckerize. That issue is devoted mostly to this issue you're asking about.

December 2016

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