The best science fiction films of the twenty-first century

Friday, 29 July, 2016

2046, Another Earth, Never Let Me Go, Melancholia, Ex Machina, and Moon, are among the top fifty science fiction films of this century. While I’ve seen these titles, plus many of the other inclusions, there are a fair few that I’m yet to see.

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Some film trailers give away too much. So stop watching them

Thursday, 28 July, 2016

It’s something I’ve been trying to do just recently, not look at trailers for films I plan to see. Not always possible, as many are played immediately before another film I am about to see, while at the cinema.

In some cases though, as Chris Ryan writes, trailers, especially when there are three or four per feature, can almost tell the whole story. And give away the best scenes as well.

Trailers are ruining comedies by including all the funny parts. Seth Rogen: Your movies are funny, and I don’t really need to pay to see them anymore because all the jokes are free in the four Neighbors 2 trailers. Trailers are ruining horror movies by revealing all the scares. Trailers are ruining great movies. Almost all of Sicario’s best scenes are In. The. Trailer. … What?

I will post, however, the trailer for Love & Friendship, a comedy based on the writings of Jane Austen. Trailers should be more like this, arousing curiosity, without revealing too much.

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For The Love Of Spock, Leonard Nimoy’s life documented

Tuesday, 26 July, 2016

For The Love Of Spock is a documentary about the life of Leonard Nimoy, who is possibly better known to more people as Mr Spock from the original Star Trek TV series, that first aired fifty years ago. Directed by Nimoy’s son, Adam, For The Love Of Spock looks at his work and life.

The trailer is now online, and the film itself is slated for release in early September, this year. It looks like just about everyone who had any involvement with Star Trek, including the later TV series, and movies, will be featured.

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A catalogue of composition models used in film scenes

Monday, 25 July, 2016

Composition Cam is an Instagram page that highlights composition models – that make use of symmetry, thirds, quadrants, and diagonals – found in movie scenes. Seen this way, their use is quite common, although you may not always realise it at the time.

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A list of US made films that aren’t big budget blockbusters

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

Looks interesting, a list of thirty US made films that you may not have heard about, that Taste of Cinema writer Matt Hendricks thinks are worth seeking out, and watching.

Present-day audiences pretty much wait for the next theatrical releases from Tarantino, Scorsese, Fincher, David O. Russell, anything owned by Disney, and anything associated with Batman while ignoring just about everything else out there. Consequently, it’s quite easy to think America’s cinematic culture is quickly going down the tubes. While there’s no denying that it is, it’s just not as quickly or as obviously as one might think. To explain further, there actually isn’t a shortage of good movies out there. In fact, there is such an abundance of them that it has become easier for us to write them off than it is to make the effort, do a little reading, and seek them out.

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Star Wars sans Empire, Rebellion, and light side of force. Is that so?

Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

If you like your alternative takes on the Star Wars saga, you’ll enjoy this article by UK writer Sam Kriss. Here he argues there is no real empire, or rebellion, for that matter.

For instance: what, exactly, is the Galactic Empire? It’s strange: something that’s fully omnipresent, but also nowhere to be found. The Empire rules the entire galaxy, but all we see are border zones: corrupt, bandit-strewn scrubworlds; autonomous mining colonies; planets inhabited only by storms and monsters; bucolic pre-agricultural fantasies. There are warships and soldiers, thousands even, but that only proves the existence of a border, not anything on the other side. The Empire is all hollow inside, it’s nothing more than its own border. If you have shipyards, why build your weapons platform off the forest moon of Endor?

Just goes to show doesn’t it? The more thought you give a story like Star Wars, which on the surface seems like a relatively simple story of good against bad, the less sense it begins to make.

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If you live your life in fast forward, are you ever in the present?

Tuesday, 12 July, 2016

Washington Post writer Jeff Guo recently made waves when he said he often watched TV shows and movies in fast-forward mode, something that allowed him to view up to four shows in an hour. That could be the beginning of something that may not end well. Why next we’ll have TV producers making shows that cater for being viewed that way.

Karl du Fresne, writing for Stuff, also contends that audiences will miss out on the best parts of a show or movie, if they’re to consume them in fast forward.

Here the obsession with doing whatever’s technologically feasible parts company with reason. People like Gao appear to be afflicted by a strange new personality disorder for which psychiatrists have yet to coin a name. Watching a good film or TV programme in fast-forward would be like eating your favourite food via a stomach tube that bypasses the tastebuds. To put it another way, what’s the bloody point?

You might see four features in an hour, but how much of each will stay with you? Given the distractions we’re subject to while sitting in front of a TV screen – the need to constantly check smartphones for one – what do you recall of anything you see at normal speed, anyway?

What’s the solution? Cut back on some shows you watch, so you can focus one or two? Eliminate other activities from your life, so there’s more time to watch TV? I wish I knew the answer.

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To stay, or not to stay, to the end of a film’s credit roll

Friday, 8 July, 2016

Should you stay in a cinema to watch the credit roll of a film all the way to the end, or not? Some people believe it is polite to do so, and see it as a way of acknowledging the work put in by everyone involved in its production.

Fair point. There’s also the chance you might be treated to an Easter egg, or a short post-credit roll scene from the movie, if you stay back.

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Voyage of Time, a trailer for the new Terrence Malick feature

Monday, 4 July, 2016

The trailer for Terrence Malick’s new documentary, Voyage of Time, that explorers the birth, life, and death of the cosmos. It has me thinking of his 2011 film, The Tree of Life.

I can’t find a release date for Australia just yet, but this looks like one to see, especially on an IMAX screen.

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The Devil Wears Prada, an oral history

Thursday, 30 June, 2016

Where were you ten years ago, because that’s how long it’s been since The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel, was released. To mark the occasion, the three leads, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt, have contributed to an oral history on the making of the film.

Blunt arguably got the biggest career boost out of the project. “It was a night and day change,” says Blunt, who was living in Los Angeles after the film wrapped. She used to visit the same coffee shop in the morning. “The day the movie came out,” Blunt says, “all the people in the bakery suddenly knew who I was. It was surreal.” Hathaway could tell that her new pal was destined for Hollywood greatness. “I’ve never witnessed a star being born before,” Hathaway says. “That’s the first time I watched it happen.”

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