Five science fiction films and series I adore and why I think you should watch them

By Martha | Reviews & Features

Sep 27

A feature by Martha Sigargök-Martin, 27.09.2017
Yes, science fiction became particularly popular in the past years. There are tons of good, and let’s say improbable science fiction material out there, but some of them stand out through their atypical and/or brilliant and unique approach to storytelling and cinematography and an original idea.
I’m going to skip the Matrix, the Star Wars film series, the Star Trek series and films, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Alien film series, Blade Runner (can’t wait to watch the new one!) and many others, because they’ve been discussed millions of time and you can find without any doubt much more exhaustive reviews than the ones I’ll be willing to invest the time into.
Also, I’m tired of reading the space Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick being almost always on the top of those lists, because, even if it’s a hypnotizing piece of work, it sometimes feels like it’s only good taste to put it first.
In addition, I don’t consider the Star Wars series as being real science fiction – even space opera – but much more fantasy in space.
I love the Matrix series, but hey man, how often have you read about it?!
I’m definitely at the edge of becoming a Trekkie and it hurts to not talk about it. But I’ve to stay coherent here. Nevertheless, Lau yel halan ha-tor wu heh smusma! [1]
So, here are my preferred science fiction films and series plus bonus, and why. Some of  them were blockbusters, some of them were not
1. Interstellar (Feature Film, 2014)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and Michael Caine
Music by Hans Zimmer
Length: 168 min
I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this movie. I knew first, when I saw the trailer, that it would be love at first sight because everything is in it. Interstellar is a story, that will grip and never leave you again. It’s a brilliant storytelling about the most essential and vicarious things in the life of a human being. It’s about survival, humanity, death, science, temporal paradoxes and love and it’s one of the most breathtaking cinematographic, musical and acting performance work I’ve ever seen. Interstellar will make you forget everything for –  at least – almost three straight hours.

2. Battlestar Galactica (TV Series, 2004-2009)
Based on: Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson
Developed by Ronald D. Moore
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Aaron Douglas, Tahmoh Penikett, Paul Campbell, Nicki Clyne, Michael Trucco, Alessandro Juliani, Kandyse McClure
Music by Bear McCreary
4 seasons, 75 episodes of 44 minutes
Also, a very emotional, very accomplished piece of work in a series. Battlestar Galactica is a military science fiction series, which was released 2003 as a remake by Sci-Fi Channel. It was broadcasted until 2009 and tells the story of a civilization of humans, who live on a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies. After a sneak attack of the Cylons, one of their own creation, the human population is diminished from a few billion to approximately 50 000 humans. If science fiction films and books often take the job of holding a mirror up to our faces, Battlestar Galactica is a master at it. It’s about racism, exclusion, terrorism, search for identity, the abyss of the human mind, hard science fiction, existentialism, sacrifice and love and it’s unforgettable.
Don’t be discouraged by this trailer. The series is worth your time. I promise.

3. Melancholia (Feature Film, 2010)
Written and directed by Lars van Trier
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, Kiefer Sutherland
Music: Richard Wagner, Charles Aznavour, Ivo Robic, Bart Howard, etc.
Length: 135 min
Justine doesn’t seem to be happy about her marriage. A high tension is conveyed from the first minutes of the story on. Everything is electrical and on the edge of explosion.
Lars van Trier is known for his provoking art and his rude manners. Nonetheless, the man has hit the nerve of the public more than once. His films belong to the ones I’ve been shaken the most by and Melancholia is no exception to that category. Melancholia premiered 18 May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
This high esthetical, dramatical and poetical piece of work is transcended thanks to a tremendous casting, which will give you the chill. Desperation, sadness, and morbid fascination will be so close to you, you’ll feel dizzy. You’ll love or hate it, but you’ll for sure, remember it.

4. Contact (Feature film, 1997)
Based on a Carl Sagan novel
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Angela Bassett
Music by Alan Silvestri
Length: 149 min
Dr. Ellie Arroway got her passion and talent for science and communication from her beloved father, who died as she was as a child. She works for the SETI program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. She’s persuaded of the existence of an alien life and kind of laughed at, and even penalized, until a fascinating signal crosses her path and she gets the chance of her life.
The rare appearance Jodie Foster makes in films are legendary. Also, fans of the Back to the Future film series will acknowledge, that Robert Zemeckis has a strong grasp of storytelling. You’ll be shaken up by the depth of her quest and her deeply moving journey through the time-space-continuum and every metaphysical question it involves.

5. Gattaca (Feature film, 1997)
Directed and written by: Andrew Nicoll
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine
Music by: Michael Nyman
Length: 106 min
In a world governed by eugenics, Vincent Freeman is conceived without the aid of genetic selection. A blood taste indicates, that he has a high probability of having several disorders and an estimated lifespan of approximately 30 years. His parents decide to use genetic manipulation for their second child, Anton. A fraternal rivalry develops as Anton is always beating his brother. Vincent dreams of a career in space travel, but is far from being “qualified”. Soon, he’ll cross the pass of Jerome Eugene Morrow, a former swimming athlete, who had a car accident and will help him to fake his identity.
The sterility of Gattaca will seem grotesque until it’ll feel perfect. If you let it, you’ll dive into a world of existential, obtrusive and warm feelings, covered under a freezing cold aesthetic.

For more prediction, existentialism, physical and/or human paradoxes, confusion, depth, rage, tears, fears but also hope, check out those ones also:
6. Total Recall

7.  Another Earth

8. I Origins

9. Edge of Tomorrow

10. Fahrenheit 451

11. Aeon Flux

12. Mad Max: Fury Road

13. Ex Machina

14. Sunshine

15. Children of Men

16. Moon

17. Pandorum

18. Chappie

19. Her

20. Dune

[1] May Star Trek live long and prosper! (in Vulcan)


About the Author

Hello there, I'm Martha, a tenacious optimist, multi passionated human being obsessed with improvement and breakthroughs. I'm a pain in the ass when it comes to accepting status quo and I love inspiring films and books because they go to the depth of our feelings, have the power to change perspective and sometimes to heal.