Month: October 2013

Gravity: The Science Fiction Film in Free Fall

Gravity: The Science Fiction Film in Free Fall

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Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has received an exceptional amount of critical acclaim for a science fiction film, more so for any other I can remember since Peter Weir’s The Truman Show.   This may be because, as with Weir’s film, many don’t recognize it as belonging to the genre. Yes, it takes place in outer space, the most familiar setting for the science fiction film, but since it (like the 1969 film Marooned) deals with events that could conceivably and possibly happen in the immediate future, it’s probably not unanimously regarded as such by mainstream critics, who don’t realize that the depiction of possible futures is precisely one of the main goals of science fiction. That may be why I’ve found myself less enthusiastic about the film than so many others after viewing it. As was the case with the wildly overrated Moon (2009), over-familiarity with the genre seems to greatly diminish my ability appreciate what others find to be so novel; on a purely visual and cinematic level, it’s certainly a tremendous achievement on the part of Cuaron and his crew, but on a story level, Gravity is (no pun intended) somewhat of a letdown. Not only will it also be overly familiar to other fans of written science fiction, but those well-versed in its cinematic equivalent will also find themselves recognizing various visual and story motifs. Continue reading “Gravity: The Science Fiction Film in Free Fall”

THE OUTER LIMITS: A Fifty Year Tribute

THE OUTER LIMITS: A Fifty Year Tribute

galaxybeing

The 50th Anniversary of The Outer Limits, one of the finest, most influential and most innovative science fiction TV shows of all time has come and went almost unnoticed by the online science fiction community. It’s a shame, but not surprising, given that much of current fandom has little interest in-and even less respect for- any genre output made before they were born. It’s still pretty appalling to read what they did consider worthy of discussing on September 16 2013. Apparently, io9 thought it was more important to waste the time of its readers with Photoshops of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation placed into the costumes of the Original Series and a list of the most dysfunctional families in sci-fi. Blastr, meanwhile, instead thought it was more pertinent to share news explaining why there hasn’t been a third Bill and Ted movie. Nice job trying to make us look like discerning and critical cultural consumers, guys. Continue reading “THE OUTER LIMITS: A Fifty Year Tribute”