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Science fiction film - Wikipedia Science fiction film (or sci-fi) is a genre that uses speculative, fictional science-based depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science ...
Science fiction film - Wikipedia Science fiction film or scifi is a genre that uses speculative fictional sciencebased depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science such as extraterrestrial lifeforms alien worlds extrasensory perception and time travel along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft robots cyborgs interstellar travel or other technologies Real Fiction Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition In many cases tropes derived from written science fiction may be used by filmmakers ignorant of or at best indifferent to the standards of scientific plausibility and plot logic to which written science fiction is traditionally held 1 The genre has existed since the early years of silent cinema when Georges Melies A Trip to the Moon 1902 employed trick photography effects The next major example in the genre was the film Metropolis 1927 being the first feature length science fiction movie 2 From the 1930s to the 1950s the genre consisted mainly of lowbudget B movies After Stanley Kubricks landmark 2001 A Space Odyssey 1968 the science fiction film genre was taken more seriously In the late 1970s bigbudget science fiction films filled with special effects became popular with audiences after the success of Star Wars and paved the way for the blockbuster hits of subsequent decades Contents 1 Characteristics of the genre 2 History 2 1 1900–1920s 2 2 1930s–1950s 2 3 1960s 2 4 1970s–1980s 2 5 1990s–2000s 2 6 2010s 3 Themes imagery and visual elements 3 1 Imagery 3 2 Scientific elements 3 3 Alien lifeforms 3 4 Disaster films 3 5 Monster films 3 6 Mind and identity 3 7 Robots 3 8 Time travel 4 Genre as commentary on social issues 4 1 Future noir 5 Film versus literature 5 1 Influence of science fiction authors 6 See also 7 Further reading 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links Characteristics of the genreedit According to Vivian Sobchack an American cinema and media theorist and cultural critic Science fiction film is a film genre which emphasizes actual extrapolative or speculative science and the empirical method interacting in a social context with the lesser emphasized but still present transcendentalism of magic and religion in an attempt to reconcile man with the unknown Sobchack 63 This definition suggests a continuum between realworld empiricism and supernatural transcendentalism with science fiction film on the side of empiricism and horror film and fantasy film on the side of transcendentalism However there are numerous wellknown examples of science fiction horror films epitomized by such pictures as Frankenstein and Alien The visual style of science fiction film can be characterized by a clash between alien and familiar images This clash is implemented when alien images become familiar as in A Clockwork Orange when the repetitions of the Korova Milkbar make the alien decor seem more familiar 3 As well familiar images become alien as in the films Repo Man and Liquid Sky 4 For example in Dr Strangelove the distortion of the humans make the familiar images seem more alien 5 Finally alien and familiar images are juxtaposed as in The Deadly Mantis when a giant praying mantis is shown climbing the Washington Monument Cultural theorist Scott Bukatman has proposed that science fiction film allows contemporary culture to witness an expression of the sublime be it through exaggerated scale apocalypse or transcendence Historyedit Metropolis 1927 by Fritz Lang was one of the first feature length science fiction films in history It was produced at Studio Babelsberg Germany Photo shows the statue of the film figure Maria at Filmpark Babelsberg Main article History of science fiction films 1900–1920sedit Luomo meccanico 1921 See also List of science fiction films before 1920 and List of science fiction films of the 1920s Science fiction films appeared early in the silent film era typically as short films shot in black and white sometimes with colour tinting They usually had a technological theme and were often intended to be humorous In 1902 Georges Méliès released Le Voyage dans la Lune generally considered the first science fiction film6 and a film that used early trick photography to depict a spacecrafts journey to the moon Several early films merged the science fiction and horror genres Examples of this are Frankenstein 1910 a film adaptation of Mary Shelleys novel and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1920 based on the psychological tale by Robert Louis Stevenson Taking a more adventurous tack 20000 Leagues Under the Sea 1916 is a film based on Jules Verne’s famous novel of a wondrous submarine and its vengeful captain In the 1920s European filmmakers tended to use science fiction for prediction and social commentary as can be seen in German films such as Metropolis 1927 and Frau im Mond 1929 Other notable science fiction films of the silent era include The Impossible Voyage 1904 The Motorist 1906 Conquest of the Pole 1912 Himmelskibet 1918 which with its runtime of 97 minutes generally is considered the first featurelength science fiction film in history7The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 1920 The Mechanical Man 1921 Paris Qui Dort 1923 Aelita 1924 Luch Smerti 1925 and The Lost World 1925 1930s–1950sedit See also List of science fiction films of the 1930s List of science fiction films of the 1940s and List of science fiction films of the 1950s In the 1930s there were several big budget science fiction films notably Just Imagine 1930 King Kong 1933 Things to Come 1936 and Lost Horizon 1937 Starting in 1936 a number of science fiction comic strips were adapted as serials notably Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers both starring Buster Crabbe These serials and the comic strips they were based on were very popular with the general public Other notable science fiction films of the 1930s include Frankenstein 1931 Bride of Frankenstein 1935 Doctor X 1932 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1931 F P 1 1932 Island of Lost Souls 1932 Deluge 1933 The Invisible Man 1933 Master of the World 1934 Mad Love 1935 TransAtlantic Tunnel 1935 The DevilDoll 1936 The Invisible Ray 1936 The Man Who Changed His Mind 1936 The Walking Dead 1936 NonStop New York 1937 and The Return of Doctor X 1939 The 1940s brought us Before I Hang 1940 Black Friday 1940 Dr Cyclops 1940 The Devil Commands 1941 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1941 Man Made Monster 1941 It Happened Tomorrow 1944 It Happens Every Spring 1949 and The Perfect Woman 1949 The release of Destination Moon 1950 and Rocketship XM 1950 brought us to what many people consider the golden age of the science fiction film In the 1950s public interest in space travel and new technologies was great While many 1950s science fiction films were lowbudget B movies there were several successful films with larger budgets and impressive special effects These include The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 The Thing from Another World 1951 When Worlds Collide 1951 The War of the Worlds 1953 20000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954 This Island Earth 1955 Forbidden Planet 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956 The Curse of Frankenstein 1957 Journey to the Center of the Earth 1959 and On the Beach 1959 There is often a close connection between films in the science fiction genre and the socalled monster movie Examples of this are Them 1954 The Beast from 20000 Fathoms 1953 and The Blob 1958 During the 1950s Ray Harryhausen protege of master King Kong animator Willis OBrien used stopmotion animation to create special effects for the following notable science fiction films It Came from Beneath the Sea 1955 Earth vs the Flying Saucers 1956 and 20 Million Miles to Earth 1957 1960sedit See also List of science fiction films of the 1960s With the Space Race between the USSR and the USA going on documentaries and illustrations of actual events pioneers and technology were plenty Any movie featuring realistic space travel was at risk of being obsolete at its time of release rather fossil than fiction There were relatively few science fiction films in the 1960s but some of the films transformed science fiction cinema Stanley Kubricks 2001 A Space Odyssey 1968 brought new realism to the genre with its groundbreaking visual effects and realistic portrayal of space travel and influenced the genre with its epic story and transcendent philosophical scope Other 1960s films included Planet of the Vampires 1965 by Italian filmmaker Mario Bava that is regarded as one of the best movies of the period Planet of the Apes 1968 and Fahrenheit 451 1966 which provided social commentary and the campy Barbarella 1968 which explored the sillier side of earlier science fiction JeanLuc Godards French new wave film Alphaville 1965 posited a futuristic Paris commanded by an artificial intelligence which has outlawed all emotion 1970s–1980sedit See also List of science fiction films of the 1970s and List of science fiction films of the 1980s The era of manned trips to the moon in 1969 and the 1970s saw a resurgence of interest in the science fiction film Andrei Tarkovskys slowpaced Solaris 1972 and philosophical Stalker 1979 are two widely acclaimed examples of the renewed interest of film auteurs in science fiction Science fiction films from the early 1970s explored the theme of paranoia in which humanity is depicted as under threat from sociological ecological or technological adversaries of its own creation such as George Lucass directional debut THX 1138 1971 The Andromeda Strain 1971 Silent Running 1972 Soylent Green 1973 Westworld 1973 and its sequel Futureworld 1976 and Logans Run 1976 The science fiction comedies of the 1970s included Woody Allens Sleeper 1973 and John Carpenters Dark Star 1974 Star Wars 1977 and Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 were boxoffice hits that brought about a huge increase in science fiction films In 1979 Star Trek The Motion Picture brought the television series to the big screen for the first time It was also in this period that the Walt Disney Company released many science fiction films for family audiences such as The Island at the Top of the World Escape to Witch Mountain The Black Hole Flight of the Navigator and Honey I Shrunk the Kids The sequels to Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back 1980 and Return of the Jedi 1983 also saw worldwide box office success Ridley Scotts films such as Alien 1979 and Blade Runner 1982 along with James Camerons The Terminator 1984 presented the future as dark dirty and chaotic and depicted aliens and androids as hostile and dangerous In contrast Steven Spielbergs E T the ExtraTerrestrial 1982 one of the most successful films of the 1980s presented aliens as benign and friendly a theme already present in Spielbergs own Close Encounters of the Third Kind The big budget adaptations of Frank Herberts Dune Alex Raymonds Flash Gordon and Arthur C Clarkes sequel to 2001 2010 were box office failures that dissuaded producers from investing in science fiction literary properties Disneys Tron 1982 turned out to be a moderate success The strongest contributors to the genre during the second half of the 1980s were James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven with The Terminator and RoboCop entries Robert Zemeckis film Back to the Future 1985 and its sequels were critically praised and became box office successes not to mention international phenomena James Camerons sequel to Alien Aliens 1986 was very different from the original film falling more into the actionscience fiction genre it was both a critical and commercial success and Sigourney Weaver was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards The Japanese anime film Akira 1988 also had a big influence outside Japan when released 1990s–2000sedit See also List of science fiction films of the 1990s and List of science fiction films of the 2000s In the 1990s the emergence of the World Wide Web and the cyberpunk genre spawned several movies on the theme of the computerhuman interface such as Terminator 2 Judgment Day 1991 Total Recall 1990 The Lawnmower Man 1992 and The Matrix 1999 Other themes included disaster films e g Armageddon and Deep Impact both 1998 alien invasion e g Independence Day 1996 and genetic experimentation e g Jurassic Park 1993 and Gattaca 1997 Also the Star Wars prequel trilogy began with the release of Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace which eventually grossed over one billion dollars As the decade progressed computers played an increasingly important role in both the addition of special effects thanks to Terminator 2 Judgment Day and Jurassic Park and the production of films As software developed in sophistication it was used to produce more complicated effects It also enabled filmmakers to enhance the visual quality of animation resulting in films such as Ghost in the Shell 1995 from Japan and The Iron Giant 1999 from the United States During the first decade of the 2000s superhero films abounded as did earthbound science fiction such as the Matrix trilogy In 2005 the Star Wars saga was completed with the darkly themed Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Sciencefiction also returned as a tool for political commentary in films such as A I Artificial Intelligence Minority Report Sunshine District 9 Children of Men Serenity Sleep Dealer and Pandorum The 2000s also saw the release of Transformers 2007 and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen 2009 both of which resulted in worldwide box office success In 2009 James Camerons Avatar garnered worldwide box office success and would later become the highestgrossing movie of all time This movie was also an example of political commentary It depicted humans destroying the environment on another planet by mining for a special metal called unobtainium That same year Terminator Salvation was released and garnered only moderate success 2010sedit Further information List of science fiction films of the 2010s The 2010s has seen new entries in several classic science fiction franchises including Predators 2010 Tron Legacy 2010 a resurgence of the Star Wars series and entries into the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla franchises Several more crossgenre films have also been produced including comedies such as Hot Tub Time Machine 2010 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 2012 and Safety Not Guaranteed 2013 romance films such as Her 2013 and Monsters 2010 and action films including Real Steel 2010 Edge of Tomorrow 2014 and Pacific Rim 2013 The superhero film boom has also continued into films such as Iron Man 2 2010 and 3 2013 several entries into the XMen film series and The Avengers 2012 which became the fourthhighestgrossing film of all time New franchises such as Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy have also begun in this decade Further into the decade more realistic science fiction epic films have also become prevalent including Hugo 2011 Gravity 2013 Interstellar 2014 Mad Max Fury Road 2015 The Martian 2015 and Arrival 2016 Many of these films have gained widespread accolades including several Academy Awards wins and nominations These films have addressed recent matters of scientific interest including space travel climate change and artificial intelligence Alongside these original films many adaptations have been produced especially within the young adult dystopian fiction subgenre popular in the early part of the decade These include the Hunger Games film series based on the trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins The Divergent Series based on Veronica Roths Divergent trilogy and the Maze Runner series based on James Dashners The Maze Runner novels Several adult adaptations have also been produced including The Martian 2015 based on Andy Weirs 2011 novel Cloud Atlas 2012 based on David Mitchells 2004 novel and World War Z based on Max Brooks 2006 novel Independent productions have also increased in the 2010s with the rise of digital filmmaking making it easier for amateur filmmakers to produce movies These films include Attack the Block 2011 Source Code 2011 Looper 2012 Upstream Color 2013 and Ex Machina 2015 which won the Academy Award for Visual Effects in a surprising upset over the much higherbudget Star Wars The Force Awakens 2015 Themes imagery and visual elementsedit Science fiction films are often speculative in nature and often include key supporting elements of science and technology However as often as not the science in a Hollywood science fiction movie can be considered pseudoscience relying primarily on atmosphere and quasiscientific artistic fancy than facts and conventional scientific theory The definition can also vary depending on the viewpoint of the observer citation needed Many science fiction films include elements of mysticism occult magic or the supernatural considered by some to be more properly elements of fantasy or the occult or religious film citation needed This transforms the movie genre into a science fantasy with a religious or quasireligious philosophy serving as the driving motivation The movie Forbidden Planet employs many common science fiction elements but the film carries a profound message that the evolution of a species toward technological perfection in this case exemplified by the disappeared alien civilization called the Krell does not ensure the loss of primitive and dangerous urges citation needed In the film this part of the primitive mind manifests itself as monstrous destructive force emanating from the freudian subconscious or Id Some films blur the line between the genres such as films where the protagonist gains the extraordinary powers of the superhero These films usually employ quasiplausible reason for the hero gaining these powers citation needed Not all science fiction themes are equally suitable for movies In addition to science fiction horror space opera is most common citation needed Often enough these films could just as well pass as Westerns or World War II films if the science fiction props were removed citation needed Common motifs also include voyages and expeditions to other planets and dystopias while utopias are rare citation needed Imageryedit Film theorist Vivian Sobchack argues that science fiction films differ from fantasy films in that while science fiction film seeks to achieve our belief in the images we are viewing fantasy film instead attempts to suspend our disbelief The science fiction film displays the unfamiliar and alien in the context of the familiar Despite the alien nature of the scenes and science fictional elements of the setting the imagery of the film is related back to mankind and how we relate to our surroundings While the science fiction film strives to push the boundaries of the human experience they remain bound to the conditions and understanding of the audience and thereby contain prosaic aspects rather than being completely alien or abstract citation needed Genre films such as westerns or war movies are bound to a particular area or time period This is not true of the science fiction film However there are several common visual elements that are evocative of the genre These include the spacecraft or space station alien worlds or creatures robots and futuristic gadgets Examples include movies like Lost in Space Serenity Avatar and Prometheus More subtle visual clues can appear with changes of the human form through modifications in appearance size or behavior or by means a known environment turned eerily alien such as an empty city citation needed Scientific elementsedit Peter Sellers as the title character from Dr Strangelove 1964 While science is a major element of this genre many movie studios take significant liberties with scientific knowledge Such liberties can be most readily observed in films that show spacecraft maneuvering in outer space The vacuum should preclude the transmission of sound or maneuvers employing wings yet the sound track is filled with inappropriate flying noises and changes in flight path resembling an aircraft banking The filmmakers unfamiliar with the specifics of space travel focus instead on providing acoustical atmosphere and the more familiar maneuvers of the aircraft Similar instances of ignoring science in favor of art can be seen when movies present environmental effects as portrayed in Star Wars and Star Trek Entire planets are destroyed in titanic explosions requiring mere seconds whereas an actual event of this nature takes many hours The role of the scientist has varied considerably in the science fiction film genre depending on the public perception of science and advanced technology citation needed Starting with Dr Frankenstein the mad scientist became a stock character who posed a dire threat to society and perhaps even civilization Certain portrayals of the mad scientist such as Peter Sellerss performance in Dr Strangelove have become iconic to the genre citation needed In the monster films of the 1950s the scientist often played a heroic role as the only person who could provide a technological fix for some impending doom Reflecting the distrust of government that began in the 1960s in the United States the brilliant but rebellious scientist became a common theme often serving a Cassandralike role during an impending disaster Biotechnology e g cloning is a popular scientific element in films as depicted in Jurassic Park cloning of extinct species The Island cloning of humans and genetic modification in some superhero movies and in the Alien series Cybernetics and holographic projections as depicted in RoboCop and I Robot are also popularized Interstellar travel and teleportation is a popular theme in the Star Trek series that is achieved through warp drives and transporters while intergalactic travel is popular in films such as Stargate and Star Wars that is achieved through hyperspace or wormholes Nanotechnology is also featured in the Star Trek series in the form of replicators utopia in The Day the Earth Stood Still in the form of grey goo dystopia and in Iron Man 3 in the form of extremis nanotubes Force fields is a popular theme in Independence Day while invisibility is also popular in Star Trek Arc reactor technology featured in Iron Man is similar to a cold fusion device 8 The late Arthur C Clarkes third law states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic Past science fiction films have depicted fictional magical technologies that became present reality For example the PADD Personal Access Display Device from Star Trek was a precursor of smartphones and tablet computers Gesture recognition in the movie Minority Report is part of current game consoles Humanlevel artificial intelligence is also fast approaching with the advent of smartphone A I while a working cloaking device material is the main goal of stealth technology Autonomous cars e g KITT from the Knight Rider series and quantum computers like in the movie Stealth and Transcendence also will be available eventually Furthermore although Clarkes laws does not classify sufficiently advanced technologies the Kardashev scale measures a civilizations level of technological advancement into types For example an interstellar Star Trek can be described as a Type II civilization while an intergalactic Star Wars can be described as a Type III civilization Alien lifeformsedit Main article Extraterrestrials in fiction The concept of life particularly intelligent life having an extraterrestrial origin is a popular staple of science fiction films Early films often used alien life forms as a threat or peril to the human race where the invaders were frequently fictional representations of actual military or political threats on Earth as observed in films such as Mars Attacks Starship Troopers the Predator series and The Chronicles of Riddick series Some aliens were represented as benign and even beneficial in nature in such films as Escape to Witch Mountain E T the ExtraTerrestrial Close Encounters of the Third Kind The Fifth Element The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Avatar and the Men in Black series In order to provide subject matter to which audiences can relate the large majority of intelligent alien races presented in films have an anthropomorphic nature possessing human emotions and motivations In films like Cocoon My Stepmother Is an Alien Species Contact The Box Knowing The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Watch the aliens were nearly human in physical appearance and communicated in a common earth language However the aliens in Stargate and Prometheus were human in physical appearance but communicated in an alien language A few films have tried to represent intelligent aliens as something utterly different from the usual humanoid shape e g An intelligent life form surrounding an entire planet in Solaris the ball shaped creature in Dark Star microbiallike creatures in The Invasion shapeshifting creatures in Evolution Recent trends in films involve buildingsize alien creatures like in the movie Pacific Rim where the CGI has tremendously improved over the previous decades as compared in previous films such as Godzilla Disaster filmsedit Main article Disaster film A frequent theme among science fiction films is that of impending or actual disaster on an epic scale These often address a particular concern of the writer by serving as a vehicle of warning against a type of activity including technological research In the case of alien invasion films the creatures can provide as a standin for a feared foreign power Disaster films typically fall into the following general categoriescitation needed Alien invasion hostile extraterrestrials arrive and seek to supplant humanity They are either overwhelmingly powerful or very insidious Typical examples include The War of the Worlds 1953 Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956 Independence Day 1996 War of the Worlds 2005 The Day the Earth Stood Still 2008 Skyline 2010 The Darkest Hour 2011 Battle Los Angeles 2011 Battleship 2012 Pacific Rim 2013 and Enders Game 2013 Environmental disaster such as major climate change or an asteroid or comet strike Movies that have employed this theme include Soylent Green 1973 Waterworld 1995 Deep Impact 1998 Armageddon 1998 The Core 2003 The Day after Tomorrow 2004 2012 2009 and Snowpiercer 2013 Real Fiction Man supplanted by technology typically in the form of an allpowerful computer advanced robots or cyborgs or else genetically modified humans or animals Among the films in this category are The Terminator 1984 The Matrix 1999 I Robot 2004 and the Transformers series Nuclear war usually in the form of a dystopic postholocaust tale of grim survival Examples of such a storyline can be found in the movies Dr Strangelove 1964 Planet of the Apes 1968 A Boy and His Dog 1975 Mad Max 1979 City of Ember 2008 The Book of Eli 2010 and Oblivion 2013 Pandemic a highly lethal disease often one created by man threatens or wipes out most of humanity in a massive plague This topic has been treated in such films as The Andromeda Strain 1971 The Omega Man 1971 12 Monkeys 1995 28 Weeks Later 2007 I am Legend 2007 and the Resident Evil series Monster filmsedit Main article Monster movie While monster films do not usually depict danger on a global or epic scale science fiction film also has a long tradition of movies featuring monster attacks These differ from similar films in the horror or fantasy genres because science fiction films typically rely on a scientific or at least pseudoscientific rationale for the monsters existence rather than a supernatural or magical reason Often the science fiction film monster is created awakened or evolves because of the machinations of a mad scientist a nuclear accident or a scientific experiment gone awry Typical examples include The Beast from 20000 Fathoms 1953 Cloverfield Pacific Rim and the Godzilla series of films Mind and identityedit The core mental aspects of what makes us human has been a staple of science fiction films particularly since the 1980s Blade Runner examined what made an organiccreation a human while the RoboCop series saw an android mechanism fitted with the brain and reprogrammed mind of a human to create a cyborg The idea of brain transfer was not entirely new to science fiction film as the concept of the mad scientist transferring the human mind to another body is as old as Frankenstein while the idea of corporations behind mind transfer technologies is observed in later films such as Gamer Avatar and Surrogates Films such as Total Recall have popularized a thread of films that explore the concept of reprogramming the human mind The theme of brainwashing in several films of the sixties and seventies including A Clockwork Orange and The Manchurian Candidate coincided with secret reallife government experimentation during Project MKULTRA Voluntary erasure of memory is further explored as themes of the films Paycheck and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Some films like Limitless explore the concept of mind enhancement The anime series Serial Experiments Lain also explores the idea of reprogrammable reality and memory The idea that a human could be entirely represented as a program in a computer was a core element of the film Tron This would be further explored in the film version of The Lawnmower Man and Transcendence and the idea reversed in Virtuosity as computer programs sought to become real persons In the Matrix series the virtual reality world became a real world prison for humanity managed by intelligent machines In movies such as eXistenZ The Thirteenth Floor and Inception the nature of reality and virtual reality become intermixed with no clear distinguishing boundary Telekinesis and telepathy are featured in movies like Star Wars The Last Mimzy Race to Witch Mountain Chronicle and Lucy while precognition is featured in Minority Report Robotsedit Transformers characters at Universal Studios Hollywood Robots have been a part of science fiction since the Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the word in 1921 In early films robots were usually played by a human actor in a boxy metal suit as in The Phantom Empire although the female robot in Metropolis is an exception The first depiction of a sophisticated robot in a United States film was Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still Robots in films are often sentient and sometimes sentimental and they have filled a range of roles in science fiction films Robots have been supporting characters such as Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet Data in Star Trek sidekicks e g C3PO and R2D2 from Star Wars JARVIS from Iron Man and extras visible in the background to create a futuristic setting e g Back to the Future Part II Total Recall 2012 RoboCop 2014 As well robots have been formidable movie villains or monsters e g the robot Box in the film Logans Run 1976 HAL 9000 in 2001 A Space Odyssey ARIIA in Eagle Eye robot Sentinels in XMen Days of Future Past the battle droids in Star Wars In some cases robots have even been the leading characters in science fiction films in the film Blade Runner 1982 many of the characters are bioengineered android replicants and in the film Astro Boy 2009 the leading character is a boy who became a robot Films like Bicentennial Man and A I Artificial Intelligence depicted the emotional fallouts of robots that are selfaware Other films like The Animatrix The Second Renaissance present the consequences of massproducing selfaware androids as humanity succumbs to their robot overlords One popular theme in science fiction film is whether robots will someday replace humans a question raised in the film adaptation of Isaac Asimovs I Robot in jobs and in the film Real Steel in sports or whether intelligent robots could develop a conscience and a motivation to protect take over or destroy the human race as depicted in The Terminator Transformers and in Avengers Age of Ultron Another theme is remote telepresence via androids as depicted in Surrogates and Iron Man 3 As computer power increases exponentially some scifi dreams have already been realized as computers become adept in logic reasoning and language understanding For example the computer Deep Blue beat the world chess champion in 1997 and a documentary film Game Over Kasparov and the Machine was released in 2003 Another famous computer called Watson defeated the two best human Jeopardy game show players in 2011 and a NOVA documentary film Smartest Machine on Earth was released in the same year Buildingsize robots are also becoming a popular theme in movies as featured in Pacific Rim Future live action films include popular television series like Voltron and Robotech and may include an adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion The CGI robots of Pacific Rim was greatly improved over the past decades as compared in previous films such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie While size does matter a famous tagline of the movie Godzilla incredibly small robots called nanobots do matter as well e g Borg nanoprobes in Star Trek and nanites in I Robot Time traveledit Main article Time travel in fiction The concept of time traveltravelling backwards and forwards through timehas always been a popular staple of science fiction film and science fiction television series Time travel usually involves the use of some type of advanced technology such as H G Wells classic The Time Machine the commercially successful 1980sera Back to the Future trilogy Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure the Terminator series Déjà Vu 2006 Source Code 2011 and Edge of Tomorrow 2014 Other movies such as the Planet of the Apes series Timeline 2003 and The Last Mimzy 2007 explained their depictions of time travel by drawing on physics concepts such as the special relativity phenomenon of time dilation which could occur if a spaceship was travelling near the speed of light and wormholes Some films show time travel not being attained from advanced technology but rather from an inner source or personal power such as the 2000sera films Donnie Darko Mr Nobody and The Butterfly Effect More conventional time travel movies use technology to bring the past to life in the present or in a present that lies in our future The film Iceman 1984 told the story of the reanimation of a frozen Neanderthal The film Freejack 1992 shows time travel used to pull victims of horrible deaths forward in time a splitsecond before their demise and then use their bodies for spare parts A common theme in time travel film is the paradoxical nature of travelling through time In the French New Wave film La jetée 1962 director Chris Marker depicts the selffulfilling aspect of a person being able to see their future by showing a child who witnesses the death of his future self La Jetée was the inspiration for 12 Monkeys 1995 director Terry Gilliams film about time travel memory and madness The Back to the Future series and The Time Machine goes one step further and explores the result of altering the past while in Star Trek First Contact 1996 and Star Trek 2009 the crew must rescue the Earth from having its past altered by timetravelling cyborgs and alien races Genre as commentary on social issuesedit The science fiction film genre has long served as useful means of discussing sensitive topical issues without arousing controversy and it often provides thoughtful social commentary on potential unforeseen future issues The fictional setting allows for a deeper examination and reflection of the ideas presented with the perspective of a viewer watching remote events Most controversial issues in science fiction films tend to fall into two general storylines Utopian or dystopian Either a society will become better or worse in the future Because of controversy most science fiction films will fall into the dystopian film category rather than the Utopian category The types of commentary and controversy presented in science fiction films often illustrate the particular concerns of the periods in which they were produced Early science fiction films expressed fears about automation replacing workers and the dehumanization of society through science and technology For example The Man in the White Suit 1951 used a science fiction concept as a means to satirize postwar British establishment conservatism industrial capitalists and trade unions Another example is HAL 9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey 1968 He controls the shuttle and later harms its crew Kubricks vision reveals technology as a competitive force that must be defeated in order for humans to evolve 9 Later films explored the fears of environmental catastrophe technologycreated disasters or overpopulation and how they would impact society and individuals e g Soylent Green Elysium The monster movies of the 1950slike Godzilla 1954served as standins for fears of nuclear war communism and views on the cold war citation needed In the 1970s science fiction films also became an effective way of satirizing contemporary social mores with Silent Running and Dark Star presenting hippies in space as a riposte to the militaristic types that had dominated earlier films citation neededStanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange presented a horrific vision of youth culture portraying a youth gang engaged in rape and murder along with disturbing scenes of forced psychological conditioning serving to comment on societal responses to crime Logans Run depicted a futuristic swingers utopia that practiced euthanasia as a form of population control and The Stepford Wives anticipated a reaction to the womens liberation movement Enemy Mine demonstrated that the foes we have come to hate are often just like us even if they appear alien Contemporary science fiction films continue to explore social and political issues One recent example is Minority Report 2002 debuting in the months after the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 and focused on the issues of police powers privacy and civil liberties in a nearfuture United States Some like The Island 2005 and Never Let Me Go 2010 explore the issues surrounding cloning More recently the headlines surrounding events such as the Iraq War international terrorism the avian influenza scare and United States antiimmigration laws have found their way into the consciousness of contemporary filmmakers The film V for Vendetta 2006 drew inspiration from controversial issues such as the Patriot Act and the War on Terrorcitation needed while science fiction thrillers such as Children of Men also 2006 and District 9 2009 commented on diverse social issues such as xenophobia propaganda and cognitive dissonance Avatar 2009 had remarkable resemblance to colonialism of native land mining by multinationalcorporations and the Iraq War Future noiredit Lancaster University professor Jamaluddin Bin Aziz argues that as science fiction has evolved and expanded it has fused with other film genres such as gothic thrillers and film noir When science fiction integrates film noir elements Bin Aziz calls the resulting hybrid form future noir a form which encapsulates a postmodern encounter with generic persistence creating a mixture of irony pessimism prediction extrapolation bleakness and nostalgia Future noir films such as Brazil Blade Runner 12 Monkeys Dark City and Children of Men use a protagonist who is increasingly dubious alienated and fragmented at once dark and playful like the characters in Gibsons Neuromancer yet still with the shadow of Philip Marlowe Future noir films that are set in a postapocalyptic world restructure and rerepresent society in a parody of the atmospheric world usually found in noir’s construction of a citydark bleak and beguiled Future noir films often intermingle elements of the gothic thriller genre such as Minority Report which makes references to occult practices and Alien with its tagline In space no one can hear you scream and a space vessel Nostromo that harks back to images of the haunted house in the gothic horror tradition Bin Aziz states that films such as James Cameron’s The Terminator are a subgenre of techno noir that create an atmospheric feast of noir darkness and a doubleedged world that is not what it seems 10 Film versus literatureedit When compared to science fiction literature science fiction films often rely less on the human imagination and more upon action scenes and special effectcreated alien creatures and exotic backgrounds Since the 1970s film audiences have come to expect a high standard for special effects in science fiction films In some cases science fictionthemed films superimpose an exotic futuristic setting onto what would not otherwise be a sciencefiction tale Nevertheless some critically acclaimed science fiction movies have followed in the path of science fiction literature using story development to explore abstract concepts Influence of science fiction authorsedit Jules Verne was the first major science fiction author to be adapted for the screen with Melies Le Voyage dans la Lune 1902 and 20000 lieues sous les mers 1907 which used Vernes scenarios as a framework for fantastic visuals By the time Vernes work fell out of copyright in 1950 the adaptations were treated as period pieces His works have been adapted a number of times since then including 20000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954 From the Earth to the Moon 1958 and two film versions of Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959 and 2008 2001 A Space Odyssey the landmark 1968 collaboration between filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and classic science fiction author Arthur C Clarke featured groundbreaking special effects such as the realization of the space ship Discovery One pictured here H G Wells novels The Invisible Man Things to Come and The Island of Doctor Moreau were all adapted into films during his lifetime while The War of the Worlds was updated in 1953 and again in 2005 adapted to film at least four times altogether The Time Machine has had two film versions 1961 and 2002 while Sleeper in part is a pastiche of Wells 1910 novel The Sleeper Awakes With the dropoff in interest in science fiction films during the 1940s few of the golden age science fiction authors made it to the screen A novella by John W Campbell provided the basis for The Thing from Another World 1951 Robert A Heinlein contributed to the screenplay for Destination Moon 1950 but none of his major works were adapted for the screen until the 1990s The Puppet Masters 1994 and Starship Troopers 1997 Isaac Asimovs fiction influenced the Star Wars and Star Trek films but it was not until 1988 that a film version of one of his short stories Nightfall was produced The first major motion picture adaptation of a fulllength Asimov work was Bicentennial Man 1999 based on the short stories Bicentennial Man and The Positronic Man the latter cowritten with Robert Silverberg although I Robot 2004 a film loosely based on Asimovs book of short stories by the same name drew more attention The adaptation of science fiction author Arthur C Clarkes novel as 2001 A Space Odyssey won the Academy Award for Visual Effects and offered thematic complexity not typically associated with the science fiction genre at the time Its sequel 2010 was commercially successful but less highly regarded by critics Reflecting the times two earlier science fiction works by Ray Bradbury were adapted for cinema in the 1960s with Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man Kurt Vonneguts SlaughterhouseFive was filmed in 1971 and Breakfast of Champions in 1998 Philip K Dicks fiction has been used in a number of science fiction films in part because it evokes the paranoia that has been a central feature of the genre Films based on Dicks works include Blade Runner 1982 Total Recall 1990 Impostor 2001 Minority Report 2002 Paycheck 2003 A Scanner Darkly 2006 and The Adjustment Bureau 2011 These films are loose adaptations of the original story with the exception of A Scanner Darkly which is close to Dicks book See alsoedit List of dystopian films List of films set in the future Genres subcategories and related topics to science fiction Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film Further readingedit Simultaneous Worlds Global Science Fiction Cinema edited by Jennifer L Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells 2015 University of Minnesota Press Science Fiction Films Filmsite org Retrieved 20140214 SciFi Film History Metropolis 1927 Although the first science fiction film is generally agreed to be Georges Méliès A Trip To The Moon 1902 Metropolis 1926 is the first feature length outing of the genre scififilmhistory com retrieved 15 May 2013 Sobchack Vivian Carol 1997 Screening space the American science fiction film Rutgers University Press p 106 ISBN 081352492X Perrine Toni A 1998 Film and the nuclear age representing cultural anxiety Taylor & Francis pp 31–32 ISBN 0815329326 Sobchack 1997170–174 Creed Barbara 2009 Darwins Screens Evolutionary Aesthetics Time and Sexual Display in the Cinema Carlton Victoria Melbourne University Publishing p 58 ISBN 9780522852585 httpwww imdb comtitlett0008100 Biever Celeste Iron Man 2 How science cures Tony Starks heartache NewScientist Dinello Daniel Technophobia Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology Bin Aziz Jamaluddin Summer 2005 Future Noir Summer Special Postmodern and Future Noir Crimeculture com Retrieved 17 November 2008 Referencesedit Luca Bandirali Enrico Terrone Nellocchio nel cielo Teoria e storia del cinema di fantascienza Turin Lindau 2008 ISBN 9788871807164 Welch Everman Cult Science Fiction Films Citadel Press 1995 ISBN 080651602X Peter Guttmacher Legendary SciFi Movies 1997 ISBN 1567994903 Phil Hardy The Overlook Film Encyclopedia Science Fiction William Morrow and Company New York 1995 ISBN 0879516267 Richard S Myers SF 2 A pictorial history of science fiction from 1975 to the present 1984 Citadel Press ISBN 0806508752 Gregg Rickman The Science Fiction Film Reader 2004 ISBN 0879109947 Matthias Schwartz Archeologies of a Past Future Science Fiction Films from Communist Eastern Europe in Rainer Rother Annika Schaefer eds Future Imperfect Science – Fiction – Film Berlin 2007 pp 96–117 ISBN 9783865052490 Dave Saunders Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Movies 2009 London I B Tauris Errol Vieth Screening Science Context Text and Science in Fifties Science Fiction Film Lanham MD and London Scarecrow Press 2001 ISBN 0810840235 External linksedit The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television horror science fiction fantasy and animation The Greatest Films Science Fiction Films