Sci-Fi

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 »

Roy Ward Baker – Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Synopsis:
Workers excavating at an underground station in London uncover the skeletal remains of ancient apes with large skulls. Further digging reveals what is at first believed to be an unexploded German bomb from World War II. Missile expert Colonel Breen is brought in to investigate, accompanied by Professor Bernard Quartermass. When the interior of the “missile” is exposed, a dead locust-like creature that resembles the devil is found. It is determined by Quartermass that these “locusts” are evil Martians who altered the brains of our simian ancestors to eventually lay claim to the Earth. When Quartermass’s suspicion that the missile can reactivate the dormant evil in humans is confirmed, all hell breaks loose. Read More »

Jean-Claude Biette – Le champignon des Carpathes (1990) (DVD)

No information on this in english….

Une jeune fille doit interpréter le role d’Ophelie du “Hamlet” de Shakespeare dans le théâtre d’un metteur en scène américain quelque peu oublie. Quelque temps auparavant elle est sauvée in extremis lors de l’accident d’une centrale nucléaire. Mais Ophelie est malade. Robert son frère veut la soigner avec un drôle de champignon découvert par Marie au moment de l’accident. Pour Jean-Paul Civeyrac, étudiants de la Femis, “le vrai sujet du film est la possibilité compromise d’inventer une histoire, de faire un projet d’existence alors que le monde peut se détruire”. Read More »

Peter Wollen – Friendship’s Death (1987)

Quote:
A robot messenger (Tilda Swinton) is sent to earth to appeal to humans to live in peace. Originally designed to go to MIT, by mistake she ends up in Amman, Jordan during the Black September riots of 1970. Sullivan, a British journalist, (Bill Paterson) comes to her aid when she is found wandering without papers following a bombing and grants her refuge in his hotel room. But there she tells him she is a robot, sent as a peace envoy from another planet. He is not sure whether to believe her story or not, but finds her unusual view of the world appealing. They examine the human condition in a series of incredibly insightful and entertaining conversations. Read More »

Byron Haskin – Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Synopsis:
Spun from Daniel DeFoe’s tale of the titular character, this sci-fi story involves a spaceship commander, Chris Draper (Paul Mantee) in a similar situation to the original Robinson Crusoe — but rather than being stranded on an island, our hero is on a hostile planet. Draper, Colonel Dan McReady (Adam West), and a test monkey look as if they are going to collide with a meteor. Draper and the chimp are able to eject themselves from the vessel, but McReady is not so lucky. The two survivors safely land on Mars and figure out how to breathe, drink, and eat on the inhospitable planet. Read More »