Since the science-fiction genre has become mainstream, lots of series, shorts, and films have been made in recent years.
Which is great!
Of course, it also means crap has multiplied and even if there tones of good work out there, the most striking films have been already discussed a million time on the internet,
However some series and films really stood out in the past, even in recent years, because of their unique tones, cinematography, and at the very least, because of their original ideas.
In this article, I'm going to talk about some of the films and series that struck me in the past.
So, I won't talk about the obvious stuff.
That's why I’m going to skip Matrix, the Star Wars film series, the Star Trek series, the Alien film series and classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and many others,
Like I said, that's the obvious stuff.
Also, I must confess that I'm very tired of reading the same thing over and over on the internet. Especially when it comes to 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, people seem to thinks that nothing good enough has happened in science-fiction since then,which is ridiculous.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's an outstanding piece of film history, but sometimes it seems that almost everybody says so, without even thinking further about it and questioning the assumption.
In addition, I've never have considered the Star Wars series as being real science fiction (ouch, I know), but rather fantasy in space (not an official term btw)
I love the Matrix series, but hey! How many reviews have you read about it?!
It hurts to not being able to talk about Star Trek either, but I’ve to stay coherent.
So, here are some of my favored science fiction films and series, and the reasons why.
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 on 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 film, that will probably stay long in your head and your heart after you've watched it. The cinematography, actors, and the VFX are spectacular, but what makes Interstellar so fascinating, is its brilliant storytelling.
It's because it involves the most existential questions regarding human life.
It’s about survival, science, temporal phenomenon (pretty spectacular ideas) and the love between a father and his daughter he's left behind.
It's one of the most breathtaking cinematographic, musical, and acting performance work done in recent years you'll ever watch.
Interstellar will make you forget everything for almost 3 hours.
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 the world of 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 lives 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 discrimination, terrorism, existentialism, sacrifice, and love.
Don't be discouraged by the trailer below (the quality is awful), because the series is worth your time. I promise.
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
The film premiered 18 May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
Melancholia is one of a kind. you'll whether love or hate. But that's kind of how the work of Lars van Trier impacts people.
I loved it. It shocked me and I needed a very long time to recover from it.
The story is about Justine, a 30 something, who's getting married, but unhappy. She not only seems to have issues with her future husband but also generally with her family, and in particular, with her sister.
The atmosphere of Melancholia is electrical. Not only from a storytelling but also from a cinematographical point of view.
It's strange, dramatical and poetical without ever being ridiculous. Which is difficult to accomplish, considering the plot and the topic.
You'll remember Melancholia, whether you liked it or not.
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
A complete other style is the science-fiction movie Contact made by Robert Zemeckis in the late 1990s.
It stars Jodie Foster, which is an extra bonus for me and deals with the topic of more advanced life forms.
The story is about Dr. Ellie Arroway, a SETI scientist, who's inherited her passion for science and communication from her beloved father, who died when she was a kid.
Convinced that there are other intelligent forms in the universe and not being taken seriously, she gets the opportunity of her life, as she receives strange signals from out of space.
The grasp for storytelling that we know from Rober Zemeckis in the Back to the Future film series is as strong, if not stronger, in Contact.
The journey of Dr. Ellie Arroway is deeply moving and the penultimate scene of Contact remains one of the most memorable of the science-fiction genre until now.
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
Last, but not least, Gattaca by Andrew Nicoll.
I don't remember quite well, but I think the movie wasn't a big success in theatres.
Gattaca depicts a future where eugenics rules the world.
Vincent Freeman, the main protagonist, is one of the few human beings left, that have been conceived without the help of genetic manipulation.
A blood taste indicates, that he has a high probability of having several diseases and an estimated lifespan of approximately 30 years.
Vincent dreams of a career in space travel but is far from being able to qualify.
Soon, he’ll cross the pass of Jerome Eugene Morrow, a former swimming athlete, who had a car accident and is willing to help him faking his identity.
The cold aesthetic of Gattaca could be grotesque, but in the end, it's one of those science fiction films, that impacts you for a long time, because it opens wounds of the past, that have shown, what humans are capable of - for better or worse.
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