The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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domino harvey
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The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:35 am

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THE SCI-FI LIST
August 01, 2020 - February 28, 2021

WHAT IS SCI-FI?

What constitutes “science fiction” is still a hotly contested debate and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. However, there are a few general rules that will apply to the films you choose for your list:

Sci-fi deals in some way with speculative, though not necessarily fantastical, science. This means films dealing with actual events, such as the Right Stuff or Apollo 13, are not eligible. However, plausible but untested fictions like Gravity or the Martian are eligible.

All documentaries are ineligible.

All movies about time travel are eligible. Films taking place in the future are eligible, so long as they use that setting in some way applicable to the genre.

Fantasy movies with sustained unexplained phenomena, such as Groundhog Day or Les jours où je n'existe pas, are eligible.

Films that proffer that magic is real are eligible.

Films dealing in any way with alien life-forms, such as Communion or Independence Day 2: No One’s Voting For This, are eligible.

Films about monsters, zombies, and other non-verified creatures (ie cryptids) are technically eligible (Harry and the Hendersons rises?), but please use some common sense to decide whether your monster movie is sci-fi or really just a horror movie. Similarly, fantasy movies featuring dragons, elves, &c are eligible, though again, consider the spirit of the thing.

Individual segments from portmanteau films are not eligible. You must vote for the entire film in which the segment appears.

Individual episodes of TV series with ongoing characters and stories, such as the X-Files or Fringe, are not eligible. Episodes of anthology series, such as the Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, are eligible. This may be the only list project in which anthology series episodes could plausibly play a significant role in the final list, but it will still take campaigning on your part, so share out your favorites in the thread!

Embellished biopics about scientists are not eligible, just to preempt the “Technically science fiction” bad-faith participants.

Overall, try to approach this project in the spirit intended.

HOW TO SUBMIT A LIST
Please submit your list of fifty (50) films-- no more, no less-- ranked in order of preference, to me, domino harvey, via PM, by February 28, 2021. No lists will be accepted before August 01, 2020.

If you can read this, you are eligible to submit a list. If you are a lurker and want to participate, you should be able to PM me even if you cannot PM other members, as I am a moderator. If you are not able to PM me, please PM cdnchris, the forum's admin, who will either unlock your posting privileges or forward your list on to me

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Toland's Mitchell
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Re: The Lists Project

#2 Post by Toland's Mitchell » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:11 am

As the Howard Hawks Project comes to a close, I just looked ahead at the Sci-Fi Project thread. It says 'fantasy films with sustained unexplained phenomena, or proffer that magic is real, are eligible.' Further down, it says 'fantasy movies featuring dragons and elves are eligible, though again, consider the spirit of the thing.' And finally it says at the bottom 'approach this project in the spirit intended.' It seems to me the list is intended to be strictly sci-fi, discouraging fantasy, which makes sense because they're different genres (even though they have some similarities). Should fantasy not be allowed at all on the sci-fi list? Therefore, could fantasy be a separate genre project later down the road?

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domino harvey
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Re: The Lists Project

#3 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:44 pm

Toland's Mitchell wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:11 am
As the Howard Hawks Project comes to a close, I just looked ahead at the Sci-Fi Project thread. It says 'fantasy films with sustained unexplained phenomena, or proffer that magic is real, are eligible.' Further down, it says 'fantasy movies featuring dragons and elves are eligible, though again, consider the spirit of the thing.' And finally it says at the bottom 'approach this project in the spirit intended.' It seems to me the list is intended to be strictly sci-fi, discouraging fantasy, which makes sense because they're different genres (even though they have some similarities). Should fantasy not be allowed at all on the sci-fi list? Therefore, could fantasy be a separate genre project later down the road?
I doubt fantasy would be sustainable as any kind of separate list in the future. That said, because there is a lot of overlap, many fantasy films fit the mold cast for sci-fi in my list of guidelines. I think any hardline stance I take is going to leave some glaring inconsistencies, so I'd rather just softly encourage folks to think about the spirit of the thing before filling their top ten with Superman movies and Dragonheart et al, but such a list would technically be in line with the rules. But there's nothing people on this forum love more than trying to backdoor something in that doesn't belong just because they can, so I fully expect the final list to be a real smorgasbord of potential Sci-Fi Channel fodder (though on that note, no, you can't vote for wrestling-focused movies!)

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Re: The Lists Project

#4 Post by knives » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:01 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:44 pm
(though on that note, no, you can't vote for wrestling-focused movies!)
Excuse me?

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Re: The Lists Project

#5 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:42 pm

Was waiting for someone to post that as a retort

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Re: The Lists Project

#6 Post by knives » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:47 pm

I was tempted to post a clip from Running Man instead.

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Toland's Mitchell
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Re: The Lists Project

#7 Post by Toland's Mitchell » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:44 pm
Toland's Mitchell wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:11 am
As the Howard Hawks Project comes to a close, I just looked ahead at the Sci-Fi Project thread. It says 'fantasy films with sustained unexplained phenomena, or proffer that magic is real, are eligible.' Further down, it says 'fantasy movies featuring dragons and elves are eligible, though again, consider the spirit of the thing.' And finally it says at the bottom 'approach this project in the spirit intended.' It seems to me the list is intended to be strictly sci-fi, discouraging fantasy, which makes sense because they're different genres (even though they have some similarities). Should fantasy not be allowed at all on the sci-fi list? Therefore, could fantasy be a separate genre project later down the road?
I doubt fantasy would be sustainable as any kind of separate list in the future. That said, because there is a lot of overlap, many fantasy films fit the mold cast for sci-fi in my list of guidelines. I think any hardline stance I take is going to leave some glaring inconsistencies, so I'd rather just softly encourage folks to think about the spirit of the thing before filling their top ten with Superman movies and Dragonheart et al, but such a list would technically be in line with the rules. But there's nothing people on this forum love more than trying to backdoor something in that doesn't belong just because they can, so I fully expect the final list to be a real smorgasbord of potential Sci-Fi Channel fodder (though on that note, no, you can't vote for wrestling-focused movies!)
For sure. It would be borderline impossible to draw a line in the sand, for some films blend the genres (e.g. City of Lost Children, Star Wars, X-Men). But no worries, I can easily refrain from putting any fantasy films on my list such as Groundhog Day or Pan's Labyrinth (as much as I like those).

And good one, knives :lol: .

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Re: The Lists Project

#8 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:43 pm

Your point will hopefully lead to an interesting discussion in the dedicated thread. I've been reading a lot about Darko Suvin's position on the genre, for example, and the necessity for a hypothesis (intentionally vague) to be put forth to cause us to suppose a change to our world, rather than be emerged in a wholly alternate world. So by that extension Star Wars would be complete fantasy, but one could make a case for Batman Returns' depiction of exaggerated social decay, as an unsettling prediction in the early 90s of what's to come, as science fiction.

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Re: The Lists Project

#9 Post by knives » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:49 pm

Hell, on a dare Ray Bradbury once wrote a convincing article on how Singin' in the Rain is an example of sci-fi.

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Re: The Lists Project

#10 Post by The Pachyderminator » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:35 am

I couldn't easily be convinced not to give Star Wars at least one slot on my list, if I end up submitting one (that will depend on whether I watch or rewatch enough films by the deadline to make a list I feel confident about), but I'd certainly be interested in hearing any arguments that might help draw the line between sci-fi and overlapping genres like fantasy and horror.

I've run into this issue with musicals: any specific theory about what exactly a musical is and how music functions in the story is liable to exclude something I feel should be included. But at least with musicals, one can fall back on a fairly simple question: do we have characters singing songs, or not? Sci-fi doesn't have a single, easily identifiable formal element that we can use as a litmus test, even if we want to keep things simple.

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Re: The Lists Project

#11 Post by YnEoS » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:03 am

I think its a bit of a futile effort for any genre theory that tries to go against the messy and inconsistent way people use genre terms. There's certainly an interesting discussion to be had about what is unique about a genre, and if good examples of the genre appropriately exploit these aspects. Like I wouldn't have any issue with someone who argued that certain sci-fi films are just action with lasers are not good examples of what the genre can do, but to try and exclude them entirely seems like the wrong way to go about it.

I think a good way to think about what to include on your list is also not just how good a film is that can classified as that genre, but how good the film is as an example of the genre (whether exemplifying or subverting tropes or covering new unique ground that brings out possibilities of the genre). It really shouldn't be an excuse to try to include all your favorite films that can barely qualify under the genre label. Looked at this way, anything that you have to split hairs over if it really counts for the genre or not, is probably no where near a good example of the genre and probably shouldn't be something to consider, even if you like the film a lot.

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Re: The Lists Project

#12 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:50 am

The Pachyderminator wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:35 am
I couldn't easily be convinced not to give Star Wars at least one slot on my list, if I end up submitting one
By all standard definitions of science fiction, Star Wars fits the bill - an adventure film within a science fiction setting.

Here's allmovie's description of the genre (where Star Wars is classified more precisely as "sci fi action" and "space adventure")
A genre of film embracing one or more of the following elements: speculative fiction, futurism, technology, and space travel. Early science-fiction was primarily concerned with man's exploration of the universe but soon found competition in a more paranoid strain of films in the 1950s. Fifties science-fiction dealt mostly with invasions of Earth by hostile aliens or giant radioactive mutations. Reactions to the testing of the A-bomb and Cold War paranoia were often reflected allegorically in these films. The 1960s and '70s saw a more hopeful strain of film emerge, as pessimism was briefly replaced again by the thrill of space adventure. Mounting ecological concerns, however, led to the 1970s "ecokill" cycle, featuring natural forces (mostly predatory animals) rebelling against their polluted environments. By the 1980s, this strain had evolved into the "dystopia" film, which dealt with the aftermath of an ecological or nuclear disaster, often speculating the formation of totalitarian governments or man's return to savage barbarism. As technology has increased, the ideological content of science-fiction film seems to have decreased, with special effects becoming an end in themselves rather than a means to make a point.

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Re: The Lists Project

#13 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:19 am

RV, I know you’re into genre definitions so I’m curious if you’ve checked out Suvin’s position. He seems to be one of the leading voices in the discussion and he would just call Star Wars a fantasy without a scientific hypothesis put forth. I’m not saying that I’ll be devotedly going by his parameters (I won’t) but I think you’d find his reasoning interesting.

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Re: The Lists Project

#14 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:36 am

No I haven't but I think what you're outlining as his position seems too radical and therefore offputting to me - it cuts out a lot of subgenres that historically have been considered sci fi, including space adventure films (in Star Wars space, technology, futurism, even there is a strong fantasy-adventure component as well). Star Wars is often labeled as "space opera", which as the Wiki article says is an adventure sci fi story. That seems more fitting a label than fantasy per se (e.g. Lord of the RIngs).

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Re: The Lists Project

#15 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:46 am

Yeah, again I’m not going to be following such rigid parameters either (a Star Wars movie is on my shortlist), but even a quick internet search will give you an idea that’s worth engaging with- I don’t think it’s radical (he’s not focusing on banning films from the genre as much as what qualifies science fiction, per its meaning to him) so I’m probably just not explaining it well

I guess the way I like to think about Suvin’s stance simply is to say “suppose this happened” (no matter how far fetched), as opposed to “suppose we lived in an entirely different fantasy world” (even if science like lasers exist there). I don’t think that’s radical, I think that’s the thought process that prompted the genre into being.

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Re: The Lists Project

#16 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:19 pm

No problem - I'll check it out.

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Re: The Lists Project

#17 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:35 pm

The problem Suvo’s definition is that it’s only covering Tolkien-esque fantasy, and not the strain of fantasy that proposes our world cohabits with a magical one, eg. Little, Big or Weaveworld.

And even so, much Tolkien-esque fantasy is proposing a mythical past rather than a wholly separate world. It functions much like the King Arthur stories, say, which people are free to treat as accounts of a time when our world was more in touch with the mystical than the current, fallen times allow.

The problem with sci-fi and fantasy is that both are derivatives of the older genre Romance (indeed the original term for SF was Scientific Romance), so the overlap can be significant. Star Wars is about an elderly knight and his apprentice joining up with a bandit and his sidekick to rescue a princess from a perilous stronghold. It involves magic, sword fights, ghosts, and mystical creatures. Its sci-fi-ness is window dressing only. It’ll make a lot of lists purely from convention.

Some propose that sci fi can be defined as forward-looking, concerned with technology and the future, while fantasy is backward looking, returning us to mythical pasts. But this isn’t satisfying because there is sci fi that looks backward (alternate history, steampunk, and works like the Bioshock games) and there’re the aforementioned contemporary-set fantasies.

I don’t think there is an acceptable definition. I think we’re going to have to let popular convention guide us.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#18 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:56 pm

Yeah exactly. I’m excited for this genre project, since it’s arguably more versatile than horror on what constitutes a “science fiction” film. Darko Suvin’s reading that necessitates a hypothesis to exist, and the process of “cognitive estrangement” to occur rather than dressing a normalized story up in a different world, is fascinating but I agree there is room for error. I think a work that imagines our world exaggerated into identity-diffused artifice like Batman Returns could be considered science-fiction under these parameters though. The presence of a “novum” that follows a logic, no matter how absurd, rather than fantasy-based imagination, is key. Batman Returns is an apparent fantasy that can be argued to be a deteriorating version of our society (plus, c’mon, Penguin alone qualifies it), as is Planet Terror- an absolutely absurd imaginative idea that nevertheless finds itself rooted in a novum.

I won’t be sticking to any one theorist here, but thinking in these terms or defining the core principles of the genre to be more philosophically provocative in essence, may cause me to place something like Solaris above 2001, for example. I plan to place a few genre blends that I intentionally left off the horror list here, including both Detention and Happy Death Day 2U, both of which will be scraping onto this one for their pulsating creativity and the undiluted fun they have with the genre.

Detention can be argued as a number of diverse genres, but its literal science fiction plot components don’t hold a candle next to its self-reflexive artifice. Suvin’s categorization works based on the hypotheses presented regarding social dynamics and generational judgments, using cinema as a magic ball, or time machine, to channel perspectives. The film imagines a film similar to our world, but actually a skewed version of it according to the dream logic or wish fulfillment of gen xers, using science fiction and horror elements to dress up the absurdities in genre conventions to acknowledge the egocentric facade.

Happy Death Day’s sequel is still better than the original, and struck me as powerful on a revisit in how heavily the choice between realities weighs on our protagonist, in between bouts of loose playfulness. Similarly, Fukunaga's Maniac will definitely make a strong appearance (my linked writeup is all spoilers, but if you haven’t seen it yet you should get on that without reading too much up on it). Its fantasy sequences remind one of Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine but this is all window dressing next to the true motive behind its application of genre signifiers; the cumulative impact of which reveals the journey to be one of the most honest depictions of the therapeutic process on film. Period.

Planet Terror on the surface may appear to be more of a horror/action/comedy, but the film treats its zombie premise as a cartoonish speculation rooted in a gradual burn of science-gone-awry before eruption. The presentation’s energy feels more in step with the genre’s welcome immersion of an audience into its world with adventurous awe, rather than involving us in fear-inducing trauma responses. I’ll surely vote for it as the most entertaining science-fiction movie I can think of offhand, to counter the intellectual-extractions that’ll feature heavily on my list.

Also, I’ve now seen Ad Astra a third time and this one just gets better and better. I don’t love Gray’s entire filmography (though he hasn’t made a wrong turn since his 2008 masterpiece), but he’s always struck me as an interesting filmmaker who makes deceptively shallow films, using thematically straightforward (or rather, accessible) aims to elicit a versatility of emotion, which unveils a depth of experience making his films anything but simple. While some of his work hit me like a ton of bricks immediately (Two Lovers, The Immigrant) others, like this and The Lost City of Z, build upon revisits and time reflecting between them. Reading back through the film’s dedicated thread, it’s interesting to track how what I perceived to be imperfect and thin metaphors transformed into a near-perfect blend of literal and allegorical therapy and self-discovery through addressing personal and social history, emerging from emotional suppression. I’ve completely changed my feelings on this one, yet not my thoughts so much pertaining to its meaning. It’s just that the meaning has finally sunk in (James Gray’s commentary helps flesh them out though). As opposed to Brian C, who I agree the most along with Sausage regarding the film’s strategy, this one is having the opposite effect to Gravity, which did not grow on me and instead petered out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gray film made it into my top ten, I’m so high on it right now. It’s also one of, if not his very best, and the most recent glaring example of the rewards of critical re-evaluation.

I honestly can’t think of a science fiction film I love more at the moment- hitting that balance of hard science and its psychological and existential plights in figurative symbolism and authentic identity exploration. Or, as James Gray puts it, the idea that we are alone in the universe is a novel platform to trigger an existential crisis for a man’s emotional awakening; about how one’s solitude is painful but emotionally ‘safe’- “the more connections we have the greater the risk” as Gray says in the To The Stars disc supplement; but how strength comes from the act of being vulnerable, as Pitt says in another supplement. Also, the lack of catharsis- something Gray doesn’t believe in- isn’t the answer, but instead the ability to sit with it is. So tremendously therapeutic, regardless of how on-the-nose you think it is. We can’t keep looking outward when we need to be looking inward. Pitt again says of these moments alone in the dark to be “the devolving of the psyche which can either lead to a death or a resurrection.” These readings really get at what I love most about the genre.

Speaking of Gravity, a recent third revisit posed the same issues as my second, though it may still make my list. To give some context, my initial viewing of this film is probably the greatest theatre experience of my life- IMAX 3D (not usually a fan, but wow, the asteroid debris threatening my very life beats any rollercoaster or VR experience x100)- completely wrecked with anxiety. This is what the theatre experience was designed for, a complete transportation into the cinema. After we left the theatre, my buddy declared, “that debris should win Best Supporting Actor” which is somehow a decent point. Flash forward, this was the first blu-ray I purchased, eager to show an ex, and the downgrade was crushing as I felt nothing akin to my theatrical viewing. So now, years later, with low expectations it was about the same- impressive but dull next to the medium it was designed for. If there’s one movie that should be re-released into theatres every year (or better yet, sell it to Universal Studios and just play it in an IMAX theatre as a fucking ride), it’s this one. Shoulda never watched it a second time, it probably would’ve come in at the top of this list.

I'm also glad that anthology series count, since it'll make the formation of a top fifty a challenge, and force me to finally dig into season two of the original Outer Limits, watch the 90s revival, and go back to revisit The Twilight Zone. I won't be surprised if five or so Black Mirror eps wind up on my final list.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#19 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:00 pm

I won't get into this project until the 50s thread is over, i.e. October. Is it ok to ask for recommendations?

Given that I've been on an almost exclusively retro fix in the last decade+, recommendations for best sci fi flicks of the 21st century I'm especially interested in (beyond what TW has just posted), as well as more obscure or overlooked entries from the previous millennium.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#20 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:04 pm

Here is a long (well, less than 100) shortlist of worthy watches that I'll be considering for my list, in alphabetical order (I’m not even going to attempt to try to pick out the worthy Outer Limits eps until I do revisits)
SpoilerShow
Films

10 Cloverfield Lane
12 Monkeys
2001: A Space Odyssey
2046
A.I.
Ad Astra
Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution
Annihilation
Another Earth
Arrival
Back to the Future
Batman Returns
Blade Runner 2049
Brand Upon the Brain!
Brazil
Children of Men
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Coherence
Colossal
Dark City
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Detention
E.T.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
eXistenZ
The Faculty
The Fly (1986)
Frau im Mond
Galaxy Quest
Happy Death Day 2U
Hard to Be a God (2013)
Her
The Host
In the Shadow of the Sun
Inception
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Interstellar
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The Iron Giant
La jetee
Jurassic Park
Krakatit
Maniac (2018)
Mauvais Sang
Melancholia
Midnight Special
Moon
Mr. Nobody
Neon Genesis Evangelion (if it counts, if not it’s still worth watching)
On the Silver Globe
The One I Love
Paprika
Planet Terror
Primer
Repo Man
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
A Scanner Darkly
The Science of Sleep
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Signs
Sleeper
Snowpiercer
Solaris (1972)
Solaris (2002)
Sound of My Voice
Source Code
Stalker
Starman
Super 8
Timecrimes
Triangle
Twin Peaks: The Return
Unbreakable
Under the Skin
Upstream Color
Videodrome
Wall-E
War of the Worlds (2005)

Black Mirror

Be Right Back
The Entire History of You
Fifteen Million Merits
Nosedive
Playtest
San Junipero
White Christmas

The Twilight Zone

Five Characters in Search of an Exit
The Invaders
It’s a Good Life
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
To Serve Man
Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
Last edited by therewillbeblus on Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#21 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:06 pm

Thanks T (and others in advance). I'll probably stick to films only.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#22 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:08 pm

Ha, the only three Twilight Zone eps I was thinking about are on your list (of course, they’re among the most popular) — To Serve Man is I think the only lock for me, a justifiably memorable sick joke. I’d think about voting for It’s a Good Life except Dante’s version is way better but I’m not voting for that whole movie. And I can’t decide if Five Characters in Search of an Exit is too much of a fantasy for me to vote for it, though it’s of course broadly eligible regardless

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#23 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:13 pm

To Serve Man was the only episode on my shortlist until last night when I forced some others on there, so same here on that. It is indeed a genius concept and emphasizes a lot of fears about communication friction that drove anxiety in the era related to Otherness. I haven't seen Five Characters in long enough where I couldn't remember and threw it on, but you could be right. Many of the best eps of the show like A Game of Pool are ineligible by my own parameters.

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#24 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:17 pm

Also, one of the films on TWBB’s list (and it will be on mine as well) even appearing on a list like this constitutes a spoiler for the film, though there’s really no way of getting around that particular film’s eligibility for this list
SpoilerShow
10 Cloverfield Lane

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Re: The Sci-Fi List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#25 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:21 pm

RV, to answer part A of your question as best I can,

The best 21st century sci-fi that are underseen/talked about (comparatively, so far):

Ad Astra
Another Earth
Colossal
Happy Death Day 2U
Maniac
Midnight Special
Science of Sleep
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Solaris (2002)
Sound of My Voice

Edit: Yeah, to domino's spoiler, I left that one off this shorter shortlist deliberately- but can't really avoid recommending it in the general list, though
SpoilerShow
it doesn't have to be a specific spoiler, considering the main part of the plot proposes that there is atomic air pollution above ground causing death, which we do see symptoms of via skin irritation on that neighbor woman's profile early on, as a red herring before we find out what's really going on!

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