Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Predictions for the AFI's lists: Sci-Fi

This is definitely the fun part of the AFI releases their lists is trying to predict beforehand, what they will chose:

I'm well-aware that it's 44 minutes into the program as I'm typing this but I give you my guarantee I'm taping the program now and have yet to see anything.

The mystery genre isn't really much of a genre so I skipped that. Mystery is comprised of traditional whodunnit's in the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express or Sleuth; film noir and Hitchkokian thrillers which all follow their conventions. I would have loved to see a list of film noir but I just felt it was impossible to compare such disparate works.
I skipped the gangster genre out of lack of familiarity and I skipped the fantasy genre as well, because that's not really a genre.

So nonetheless, let's get on with our genres, shall we?
1. Star Wars, George Lucas- I think it will either be 2001: A Space Odyssey or Star Wars. There's some animosity towards Lucas for not doing anything original in the last 30 years and milking his franchises for every last drop, but I'm betting there are enough Star Wars geeks out there.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick-Kubrick died early and made few films, a clear path to being recognized as genius. Furthermore, 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn't have much dialogue and it runs for several hours, winning over the film snobs in the process
3. Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick-Another entry to make the top 100 both times, it's a work of art, cult film, and widely acclaimed classic. Also, it's Kubrick
4. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott-This one has picked up steam in the last 15 years or so since critic's lists have released their top 100s. It has made a number of publications' top 100 lists.
5. Alien, Ridley Scott-Let's go with two Scotts, two Kubricks, and a Lucas in the top 5. Ridley Scott's Alien has that famous scene that is part of pop culture in wich the alien bursts out of Sigourney Weaver's stomach, it has one of cinema's best heroines, especially at a time when the screen was about to be infused with testosterone-laced heroes (i.e. Rambo, etc). Lastly, Aliens isn't in the running, so less vote-splitting
6. Frankenstein, James Whale-It's regarded as a classic but it is also fun to watch, and has been parodied, sequeled, AND remade.
7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stephen Spielberg-E.T. is probably going to get on the list because it's been on both of AFI's top 100 list, but this is far more sci-fi oriented, as I understand it (haven't seen the film start to finish, unfortunately), and it delves into the philosophical and somewhat hardcore issues that sci-fi fans love to go to
8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Don Siegel-One of the sci-fi films from the '50s era should really be included and it would either be Invasion or The Day the Earth Stood Still. My money's on Invasion, for some reason. Just a hunch.
9. The Matrix, Wachowski Brothers-I think one of the two bottom choices might be bumped out for E.T., even though E.T. is more about a broken family, than it is a sci-fi film, but I think the Matrix has a storyline that infused itself into pop culture and made many rabid fans. It was a great success in movie marketing and its special effects have influenced every film that came after it
10. Back to the Future, Rob Zemeckis-It spawned two equally profitable sequels, is a classic on DVD, it made Michael J Fox, and it has an absolutely brilliant script. Plus, it's just plain fun and one of the best sendups to the old sci-fi genre in existence
Other possibilities: The Day the Earth Stood Still, E.T., Terminator 2, Planet of the Apes (it got notoriety for being remade and Charlton Heston recently died), Children of Men

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