Sci-Fi

Fritz Lang – Metropolis [Full Version 2010] (1927)

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“Metropolis is not one film, Metropolis is two films joined by the belly, but with divergent, indeed extremely antagonistic, spiritual needs. Those who consider the cinema as a discreet teller of tales, will suffer a profound disillusion with Metropolis. Whait it tells us is trivial, pretentious, pedantic, hackneyed romanticism. But if we put before the story the plastic-photogenic basis of the film, then Metropolis will come up to any standards, will overwhelm us as the most marvelous picture book imaginable.”
— Luis Buñuel: Metropolis. In: Great Film Directors. Edited by Leo Braudy, Morris Dickstein. New York 1978, p. 590 Read More »

Chris Marker – La Jetée (1962)

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Review (taken from Turner Classic Movies)

Quote:
“This is the story of a man marked by an image of his childhood,” begins La Jetee (1962), one of the most instantly recognizable and acclaimed short films ever made. Using only still photographs, voiceover narration, sound effects and music, it tells the story of a World War III survivor whose vivid memories make him the subject of time travel experiments. In only one shot of the film–that of “the Woman” opening her eyes in the morning–does the image move. Through such deceptively simple means Chris Marker explores the paradoxes of time travel and, on a deeper philosophical level, the relationships between image and memory, and word and image. Read More »

Marek Piestrak – Klatwa Doliny Wezy AKA Curse of Snakes Valley (1987)


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An ex marine (Traven), a Polish professor (Tarnas) and a French journalist (Christine) are on the hunt for a treasure in this great Polish b-movie flick. Actually most of the contemporary Polish movies suck. But this one sucks so bad, that it’s enjoyable. You’ve got all the possible cliches here, plus cheesy stop-motion special effects, plus cheesy dialogues, plus nice landscapes, plus nice cast with some big names (Roman Wilhelmi, Leon Niemczyk and recently deceased Ewa Salacka). Polish-Soviet production, shot in Viet Nam/Paris. If you wet your pants watching the Nazis in the first Indiana Jones, who melted after opening the Ark, grab this one. Read More »

Aleksandr Sokurov – Dni Zatmenija AKA The Days Of Eclipse (1988)


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Loosely based on a science fiction story by the Strugatsky brothers. The film tells the story about a young scientist who travels to a poor provincial town in Central Asia to do research on the Russian Orthodox church. Mysterious forces, unbearable heat, strange people, a conversation with a dead friend and aliens disturb his research. Read More »

Hugo Santiago – Invasión (1969)

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from IMDB:
a “missing piece” in the puzzle of 60’s cinema,
10/10
Author: l-c-a-161-582869 from Canada

a day after i saw invasion (at tiff) i had already come to take it for granted as a part of the essential canon of 60’s film. though the affinities with some new wave and related trends of the period (godard, antonioni, resnais) have been noted- and i would certainly add bunuel to that list- hugo santiago’s film adds something decisively different to the mix, something you maybe always unconsciously felt belonged there but wasn’t really represented by any particular film or “auteur”. unfortunately the original negatives were seized (and presumably destroyed) by the military in the early 70’s, and the restored print is variable in quality with shoddy french subtitles over which the English titles are projected in real time. this resulted in many mistakes which threatened to render the story even more mysterious than it was intended to be! someone badly needs to do a new restoration on this one! regardless, invasion is, especially when taken in context (1969!) a remarkable achievement in every way. superb, velvety black-and-white cinematography, fabulous location shooting, brilliant performances, and all that, combined with a meaningful, prescient story of the “inevitable, irresistible invasion” which was shortly to overtake argentina and subsequently all of us… the brutally inhuman men in suits…! the protagonist herrera (lautaro murua) is the quintessential borgesian knife-fighter reconfigured as a gun-toting ruthless thug defending civilization-as-we-know it from the “invaders”… the counter-revolution, as is made clear in the film, remains well below the the radar of the everyday football-obsessed citizen… superb, and more timely than ever!!! Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Mekagojira no gyakushu AKA Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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Plot Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
A race of malevolent aliens bent on world domination unleash the ultimate weapon of destruction on mankind, leaving them with no hope for survival but the power of the mighty Godzilla. Their galaxy dying, the endangered aliens discover a planet that could save them from extinction if it wasn’t already populated. In order to solve that significant problem, the scheming extraterrestrials construct Mechagodzilla, a 400 foot destroyer of worlds armed with powerful lasers and guided missiles. As Godzilla prepares to face off against his powerful intergalactic doppelganger, the traitorous Professor Mafuni lends his genius to the aliens to create the mighty Titanosauraus. Titanosauraus is a massive amphibious dinosaur that Professor Controls via a biomechanical connection with his android daughter Katsura. But just as it begins to appear as if all hope has been lost for both Godzilla and the human race, Interpol agents discover that Titanosauraus has one weakness that may give the Godzilla the crucial edge that he needs in order to emerge victorious. Read More »

Christian Nyby & Howard Hawks – The Thing from Another World (1951)

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A spaceship lands in Arctic wastes, its only passenger a six-and-a-half-foot-tall frozen vegetable with a brain. (“An intellectual carrot — the mind boggles.”) That spells trouble for the small troupe of soldiers and scientists, plus a reporter and the token fabulous babe. Directed by Christian Nyby, The Thing has the hallmarks of movies by producer Howard Hawks: taut, snappy camaraderie and a preference for men of action over men of thought. Whereas 1951’s other big spaceman movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, took the liberal view that a visitor from another world would be benign, superior and peace-loving, this one suggests an interplanetary Cold War, with a creature (played by James Arness, later Sheriff Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame) who’s angry, hungry and hard to reason with. Humankind’s only logical response to this vegetable invader: cook ‘im! (But don’t eat ‘im.) –Richard Corliss, TIme Magazine Read More »