Sci-Fi

David Gladwell – Memoirs of a Survivor (1981)

Synopsis: Based on a novel by Doris Lessing, MEMOIRS OF A SURVIVOR stars the luminous Julie Christie as D, a woman struggling to survive in a violent post-apocalyptic world. Traumatized by both the war she’s lived through and the regular atrocities that each day bring, D retreats from reality into a bizarre Victorian dream world within herself. However, when she takes in a teenage girl, D is drawn back into the harsh reality of her crumbling city and its feral street gangs. Desperate for some kind of salvation, D becomes convinced that her fantasy world of the past holds may hold the key to a better future. Read More »

Muscha – Decoder (1984)

Quote:
FM (FM Einheit of Einstürzende Neubauten) has discovered something incredible in the monotonous ‘muzak’ played through the fast food restaurant H Burger’s speaker system: the tracks are laced with subliminal messages designed to ensure complacency and consumerism. Experimenting with his discovery, FM soon realizes that by changing the type of music played, he can manifest a whole range of emotional responses and stir up the populace from their consumerist subordination. But as the diners are emotionally awakened, they become more and more prone to rioting and general social unrest, which puts FM in an increasingly dangerous position, especially when the sinister and mysterious organization behind the the plot to keep the public complacent takes an interest in finding and stopping him… Read More »

Don Sharp – Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon AKA Those Fantastic Flying Fools AKA Blast Off (1967)

Quote:
The film’s full title of Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon is a tad misleading as it is only inspired by Verne’s writing in general, rather than by anything specific that he wrote. Once that point is cleared up, one can sit back and enjoy an amusing romp of a movie. The typically contrived plot concerns a suddenly bankrupt Phineas T. Barnum (Burl Ives) making an escape from his creditors to England, where he becomes the prime mover in a plan to launch a rocket to the moon. On the side of the angels are a German explosives expert (Gert Fröbe), an idealistic young American (Troy Donahue) with a revolutionary rocket design and the well intentioned Duke of Barset (Dennis Price). Read More »

John Carpenter – They Live (1988)

Quote:
John Nada (Roddy Piper) is a quiet loner, a drifter who gets work where ever he can find it. While working on a construction site in L.A. and sleeping in a vagrant community at night, John stumbles upon a secret society of alien beings who pose as wealthy and powerful people in human society. John joins a rebel group commited to exposing this conspiracy, and becomes their reluctant leader and the only hope of the human race. Former wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper is outstanding as the unassuming hero, playing the role with understated shock at what he uncovers and stubborn courage when he confronts it. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Régime sans pain (1985)

Jonathan Rosenbaum from Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (2004), pp. 236-237:

Within my experience, Ruiz is the least neurotic of filmakers; he doesn’t even seem to care whether what he’s doing is good or not (and, as he’s aptly noted, bad work and good work generally entail the same amount of effort). No single film functions as the be-all or end-all of an evolving career but merely as part of an overall process. Example: the 1985 Régime sans pain — one of his films most influenced by his friend Jean Baudrillard, and perhaps the one that most calls to mind grade-Z SF — grew out of a commission to direct a music video. Ruiz offered a counterproposal that he direct several music videos rather than one; once this deal was made, he shot enough material to interconnect the various videos until he arrived at a feature. Read More »

Kurt Neumann – Rocketship X-M (1950)

Synopsis:
Astronauts (Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., and Hugh O’Brien) blast off to explore the moon. Because of craft malfunction and some fuel calculations, they end up landing on Mars. On Mars, evidence of a once powerful civilization is found. The scientists determine that an atomic war destroyed most of the Martians (who surprisingly look like humans). Those that survived reverted to a caveman-like existence. Read More »

Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan – For the Plasma (2014)

In a remote house in Maine, two friends predict shifts in global financial markets by viewing footage of the forest.
Quote:
A digital-pastoral drama of friendship, landscape and technology, “For the Plasma” begins as the story of two young women (Anabelle LeMieux and Rosalie Lowe) employed as forest-fire lookouts in Northern Maine, and ends in a hundred places at once. Along the way, the girls make financial predictions based on surveillance footage of the surrounding forest, the local lighthouse keeper and a pair of unusual investors interrupt their solitude, and a dreamlike portrait of small town America and contemporary life is revealed. “For the Plasma” is a film of minimal means but ambition, shot in Super 16mm and 4:3 with a small cast and crew, and scored by the great Japanese experimental composer, Keiichi Suzuki. great Japanese experimental composer, Keiichi Suzuki. Read More »