Five Intelligent Science Fiction Films

children-of-menFilmJuice have just published my latest feature. In honour of the British release of Cloud Atlas, here is my list of five literary science fiction films.

These types of feature are really quite formulaic, the list post is a staple of most major websites and I do little to subvert the format. However, while many such lists seem content to list anything that isn’t a disaster movie or an action film, I’ve attempted to select films on the basis of their vision and relevance. Somewhat unsurprisingly, I end the piece by singing hosannas to the glory of Curaon’s Children of Men:

Cuaron’s Children of Men takes place in a future Britain where the sudden and inexplicable sterility of the population has resulted in an even greater form of cultural blockage than the one we are currently experiencing. Without young people to stir things up and challenge orthodoxies, Britain has retreated into a bitter nostalgic conservatism where branded coffee shops sit beside cages full of foreign refugees and pleasant middle-class people withdraw into artfully decaying farm houses filled with relics of their long-abandoned ‘politicised’ youth. Even when The Revolution finally comes, it feels like a mass-market greatest hits album: Masked Islamic gunmen parading their martyred dead West Bank Style, under-equipped paramilitaries firing through the windows of abandoned schools Sarajevo Style, futuristic soldiers standing around impoverished suburbs Baghdad Style: Now That’s What I Call A Revolution! Volume 666.

People interested in this sense of cultural blockage might also be interested in my piece about the Cowardice, Laziness and Irony of literary science fiction and Mark Fisher’s eternally brilliant book Capitalist Realism.