A cabal of immortal beings
8/10 (Very Good)
Piotr Kamler’s SF film Chronopolis (1982) is a hypnotic exercise in sinister science whose imagery is lifted from an archaic stone vault (1). Against an unsettling patina of musique concrète composed by Luc Ferrari, we are plunged into a far future existence where immortal beings ensconced in a celestial city perform apathetic conjurations of matter. An external force, explorers climbing the pillars (?) that hold up the city, presage a deliverance from the languor that afflicts all.
Science as Ritual, Scientist as Priest Continue reading
8/10 (Very Good)
On the night of 20-21st of August 1968, the Warsaw Pact countries (led by the USSR) invaded Czechoslovakia ending the period of liberalization known as Prague Spring. And with it, the Czech New Wave film movement “ended.” Regardless, Karel Kachyna filmed The Ear (1970), a paranoid psychological thriller redolent with New Wave stylings, that brandishes a proverbial middle finger in the direction of the Communist Party. Unsurprisingly, the film was promptly banned until 1989, and Kachyna Continue reading
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1958 edition)
C. L. Moore’s Doomsday Morning (1957) — she’s best known for her revolutionary 1930s works including “Shambleau” (1934) and the “Jirel of Joiry” sequence — is perhaps her most ruminative and traditional SF novel (she tended to write more fantastical SF and fantasy). Unfortunately, she quit writing around the time of the death of her husband and frequent collaborator Henry Kuttner (they often published under the pseudonym Lewis Padgett). And her second husband forbid her to write altogether…
Moore creates a finely wrought dystopic vision where an oppressive future government utilizes communication networks to spread its tentacles across the United States. Against this backdrop intriguing characters come to life. Her descriptions of the political backdrop remain minimalistic which is surprising for SF of the 50s which often resorts to lengthy descriptive lectures. Instead, the true extent of the government’s Continue reading
Michael (2theD), one of my friends whose reviews on Amazon I’ve been compulsively reading, has just started a review blog (on blogspot) called the Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature.
(the titles above are a small sample of the works Continue reading
I do not write reviews for the majority of films I watch. My reasons are somewhat nebulous considering it’s the summer and I certainly have time. I see my blog more as a way to re-examine and bring to the forefront sci-fi books and films generally more esoteric and infrequently reviewed. But certain winds shift direction for brief windows of time. So here we go, a rundown of the more popular films I’ve seen in theater or re-watched recently.
The Tree of Life (2011), dir. Terrence Malick, rating 7.75/10 (Good)
Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) juxtaposes extensive sequences Continue reading
Boris Karloff! Mind transplants! Headstrong female scientists! 30s sci-fi horror! A watchable yet seldom seen film! What’s not to like?
The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936) is the second Robert Stevenson (later of Disney fame), Anna Lee, and John Loder feature I’ve seen — the first, Non-Stop New York (1937) wasn’t nearly as Continue reading
This “lost” (for good reason) little film is vaguely watchable for one aspect alone — a massive futuristic art-deco transatlantic plane which can fly from London to New York in 18 hours! Non-Stop New York (1937) is an early film from illustrious director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Love Bug, Continue reading
American director Jules Dassin — famous for his 40s and 50s film noir works Brute Force, Rififi, Night and the City, The Naked City — departs from his normal stomping ground with an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzaki’s 1948 novel The Greek Passion. Dassin left the US for France because of his Communist affiliations — hence, the film is in Continue reading
Everyone! I’ve decided to start a new series of posts! An episode by episode log of my reactions (including, but not limited to rants, ravings, tangential ruminations, mutterings, and indecipherable utterances) to Space: 1999 (1975-1977). I’ve never seen the show before and don’t have very high expectations. But with 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired visuals and some 70s flare (see the hilarious costumes of the cast image below), how bad can it be? (haha). A general naïveté (on my part) Continue reading