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29 June 2010 @ 00:22
Writer's Block: Future forward  
What is the best science fiction movie of all time, and why?

I know the answer to this one! It's Blade Runner (Director's Cut).

1) The future it depicts is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. It's a fairly normal place, just with more tech. Said tech has been around for a while and lost its sheen. I get the sense that Deckard has to pay his electricity bill like everyone else. Or, um, has memories implanted of having to pay his electricity bill. Either way, the world isn't perfect, not everything works all the time and it still rains constantly. Sure, it commits The Flying Car Mistake and the future didn't turn out like this, but it could've and, once you start watching, the film has an inner verisimilitude. I'll take this version of the future over the glossy US sci-fi dramas. Funny enough, the recent Star Trek reboot did the same thing when their new flight deck didn't work perfectly. I liked that.
2) The atmosphere gets its own entry. The rain, the palette... Even the cooling fans give you a sense of temperature. The advertising is constant and, on further consideration, that's pretty accurate.
3) The music by Vangelis. An intrinsic part of the atmosphere and gives a real sense of the lonliness of the city. The right music over a cityscape can be incredibly beautiful. For what it's worth, I think Yukikaze also did this very well.
4) The genre is sci-fi and couldn't exist if it wasn't sci-fi, but the plot is about humans (kind of) and everyone is more than just an archetype.
5) The replicants look cool. I was pretty young when I first saw scenes from the film, but this was my first impression. Still holds up.
6) There has never been a bad industrial song that referenced this movie. Covenant are the best example of this, but I've never heard a bad song titled Tears In The Rain or a variation on it.
The Imp of the Perversegiving_ground on 28th June 2010 14:11 (UTC)
You know, I think that's precisely why I liked Rollercoaster so much when I was first getting into Kent (who are also, though it doesn't come through so much in that particular song/in their english songs generally, remarkably good at songs about desolate industrial landscape etc. *__* )... I've moved away from it a bit now because I like their more recent "getting back in touch with their depeche mode obsession" sound so much and because they sing better in Swedish, but!
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th June 2010 07:35 (UTC)
I've been wanting to hear more Kent after hearing they were the ones who did the original version of "Music Non-Stop". I love the cover version by Mercenary. I have to admit that they're a bit softer than what I usually like, but there are some great melodies underneath it all.
The Imp of the Perversegiving_ground on 29th June 2010 08:01 (UTC)
Yeah, they're definitely lighter than a lot of music I've traditionally listened to. They're also a fairly straight-up rock band in origin, but I like what they've been doing on their last few albums - Röd & Tillbaka till Samtiden come to mind - with more synth-y stuff (and I'm listening to their just-out album right now and huh, that sure is some electronic sound, wow!)... still, it tends to be melody + lyrics (especially in Swedish) that make their songs.

*pulls face* can you tell I have no-one to talk to about music who I don't live with? Sorry!
菖蒲eye_ame on 28th June 2010 15:58 (UTC)
Blade Runner rulez.
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th June 2010 07:36 (UTC)
It does! Do you have a favourite sci-fi film?
菖蒲eye_ame on 29th June 2010 07:38 (UTC)
Um, Blade Runner, probably ;)
I liked A Scanner Darkly very much too, but still like the book way WAY better.
ext_109169 on 28th June 2010 19:28 (UTC)
Given the setting, I would never have guessed that you'd opt for Bladerunner. ;)

I remember going to a late screening of that in the PPP in Oxford in 1980something. I'm note sure if the FX stayed with me but I was very impressed (in the remembering it sense) by Rutger Hauer's dying speech.

My personal favourite is probably still Silent Running. I dare say it's dated now but it was such a marvellous little essay on loneliness.
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th June 2010 07:46 (UTC)
I loved Rutger Hauer's dying speech. I can still quote it, word for word. It's a brilliant piece of writing, because it suggests a much deeper world (Tannhauser Gate) in a way that doesn't distract or confuse.

I've haven't seen Silent Running. I just read a quick plot description on the IMDB and it sounds interesting.
Viridian5: Reb (hand)viridian5 on 28th June 2010 23:43 (UTC)
I actually saw the version with the voiceover just this weekend! (As desultory as Harrison Ford's voiceover might sometimes be, I find that I need it in there.) Love that movie, for a lot of the reasons you do. The characters are people, and the viewer cares about them. (Poor J.F.)

Bladerunner's look influenced the look of a lot of sci-fi movies. Rutger Hauer has said in interviews that he feels that Roy was the hero of the movie. *g*

I also see the pervasive advertising as very realistic, to the point where I cheered during a often bad episode of Andromeda when it had some advertising in the background of one of its' scenes, like for vacations (even if you don’t have a lot of money, you don’t have to settle for simulations) and a "universal prophylactic."
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th June 2010 07:52 (UTC)
I don't like the voiceover! It's a completely different movie without it. I think you need the silence to really appreciate it.

I can see Roy as the hero. I tend to prefer villains/antagonists regardless of the medium.
Viridian5: Rommie Attackviridian5 on 29th June 2010 20:52 (UTC)
Without the voiceover I miss what's going on in the plot in a few points, and I say this as someone who's seen the movie a few times. *g*
L.impressioniste on 29th June 2010 04:51 (UTC)
Your writeup actually makes me want to watch it, even though I'm not a huge SF watcher. :x
Williamgenkischuldich on 29th June 2010 07:53 (UTC)
You should try to see it. It's my opinion that the Director's Cut is the better version, but some people like the other one. Either way, it's not an entire series, just one movie. Very short. :)