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The Unexpected Fantastic: Slow Motion

The Darjeeling LimitedI am going to talk about a movie. Again.


In the opening minutes of The Darjeeling Limited, Adrien Brody runs after a train in slow motion. His long limbs devour the platform, but they do so with leisure and grace. He is an impossible creature, encased in a perfect grey suit, and he clambers through the air as if he has received a temporary reprieve from the normal obligations of gravity. His fingers unfurl from the handle of his suitcase, one by one, and each release is a moment of solemn and breathless delight.


Every time I watch it, I feel like I am witnessing a magic trick.



BSFME Contestant #6: Blade Runner: The Final Cut

We are nearing the end of Best Science Fiction Movie Ever (BSFME) Week, and we've read some very compelling arguments for The Fifth Element, Back to the Future II, The Empire Strikes Back, The Wrath of Khan, and The MatrixToday, Jen Miller brings us our final contestant--Blade Runner: The Final Cut.

Blade RunnerWithout any question, Blade Runner: The Final Cut is the best science fiction movie of all time.  For starters, it contains the best movie quotation ever:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

The imagery of Roy Batty's words is so beautiful, so peaceful, and so sad--it's a rare quotation that is all of these things at once.


BSFME Contestant #5: The Matrix

If you're just joining us, this week is "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever" Week here at Fantasy Matters.  You can read about the other contestants here; in this post, Adam Miller makes a case for his favorite--The Matrix.

The MatrixWill you take the red pill or the blue pill? 

Even thought it's been more than 10 years since The Matrix was released, this concept still shows up regularly in TV shows, books, and everday conversations.  Sure, 10 years might not seem like that much, but these days, when you consider how much the world as we actually know it has changed in the last decade, for a movie to continue to be a plausible vision of the future is a remarkable feat.  Science fiction movies don't tend to withstand the test of time.  Vangelis' electronic soundtrack for Blade Runner starts to sound a bit tinny, and The Planet of the Apes looks like an unfortunate costume party.  The Matrix, on the other hand, seems more and more possible in an age where the line between physical and digital reality becomes ever more difficult to distinguish.  While many films have taglines that catch on, this one is different because it alludes to the fundamentally different way that The Matrix made us think about reality.


BSFME Contestant #4: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

So far this week, The Fifth Element, Back to the Future II, and The Empire Strikes Back have all been nominated for the glorious title of "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever." Today, Damien Walter makes his case for another contestant--Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanIn my regular blog for The Guardian, I'm on record as saying that there are only two truly great science fiction movies. These are, of course, 2001 and Bladerunner. And if I think about science fiction as a 'genre of ideas' then I stand by that statement. No other SF movie even comes close to the vision of these two.

But. I have a confession to make. There are other SF movies that I love rather a lot, even though they have none of the philosophical depth of truly great SF. And when it comes to SF movies lacking any philosophical depth, there are none greater than the greatest of all Star Trek movies...Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan.


BSFME Extra: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Madeline Barnicle doesn't watch enough scifi movies for her to feel like she should really nominate a contestant for our poll, but she did want to weigh in with her thoughts about why Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the best of the Star Wars movies.

Star Wars III: Revenge of the SithMy shortlist of contenders for favorite science fiction movies is rather short for various reasons, such as my general preference for books over movies. With this caveat, announcing that Revenge of the Sith my favorite movie of the Star Wars series, never mind science fiction overall might raise some eyebrows. I'm not quite sure how much of this unusual preference is due to the circumstances under which I saw Episode III, and how much is due to Episode IV being a victim of its own success.

Revenge of the Sith was the only Star Wars film I saw in a movie theater. I was blown away by Obi-Wan's dramatic escape from Order 66 on the back of a huge dinosaur...thing, and appreciated the final musical segue. Although I had already seen some of the other films on the small screen, perhaps the scope of the big screen gave "Revenge" first place on any subsequent list I could make of the different episodes.



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