Sunday 21 October 2007

The Fantasy Genre- Love it or Loathe it

Well, I love it. There's good and bad of course. I LOATHE Star Trek, I find it tedious and unimaginative, but the Sci Fi/Fantasy genre as a whole, is one I love. I find it really expands the imagination, but also provides a medium so much freer for real philosophical and political thought, the great issues of life can be examined outside the constraints we normally find them in. A novel or film about real life on real earth doesn't really think outside the box in the same way. Sci Fi/Fantasy is modern myth, and like all myth, it strikes an inner reality that daily reality cannot scratch the surface of.

This is from Krull, which I first saw aged five. I have seen it several times since, just a really stylish film, dark, brooding, atmospheric.
For its day, the special effects are amazing- plus, it's actually a British film!
Note Francesca Annis!

The next clip is from one of the series that became a real cult, and I was one of its earliest followers- I caught the first episode (this one shown) at University and never missed an episode. A dark mix of horror, black comedy, satire and occasionally, eroticism, I feel this really pushed the boat out in Sci Fi terms. The later series weren't quite as good, but Lexx really stirred my mind.

Be warned, this clip carries an 18 rating.

Then of course, there is Farscape. Again, you can't really knock this, this is what Star Trek SHOULD have been. Visually stylish, compelling viewing, and great storylines.

You couldn't really afford to miss an episode, because you'd really miss out on the storyline, but it actually had a hero you could like- and even for a cynic like me, the love interest between John and Aeryn (the lovely Claudia Black) was just one of the greatest ever shown on screen.

Never before, perhaps, has a woman been portrayed so captivatingly, strong, assertive, unbreakable. This is not a woman who will be mastered by her emotions. This is not a woman who will bow to anyone.

And yet... that smouldering intensity.

Lastly, there can be fun Sci-Fi too. It doesn't all have to make you think. Sometimes, you can just be amused.

In this scene, you just cannot help but admire the stamina of Barbarella...

Incidentally, the crazy looking guy in the clip is called Duran Duran- it's where the group took their name from.

Well, all these have had effects on me, one way or another. I really do find the genre the most worthwhile to read, and to watch.

If you feel like perusing the effects it's had on my mind, feel free.


Anonymous said...

Me be thinking that sci-fi in it's written form be bringing us far more than what the visualists can ever hope to attain.

The thoughts of Asimov, Bester,Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert, Niven and many others that me not gonna mention do things between the covers of their books that no director nor actor can ever bring forth to the mind.

Don't slight Gene. He gave his life and soul to enrich our lives and make us think.


Anonymous said...

Most Sci-Fi does nothing for me. I loved the 'V' series, with the aliens with human faces hiding their real lizard faces underneath. That was classic.

Most of the Sci-Fi on tv right now is pretty pants. The American stuff, for me, is awful. The only Sci-Fi I really watch right now is good old Doctor Who. That's just brilliant. Otherwise, the rest is pretty poor.

Even the mini series of Flash Gordon is awful, just not the same as the classic 70s movie I love so much!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to tell you I HATE sci-fi/fantasy but you have made me think again. I didn't know that about Duran Duran. You are a mine of [not useless] info, Crushed!

Anonymous said...

I love fantasy, but I'm not big on Sci-Fi. I'll read books in both genres's, but if it comes to movies and/or TV, I only watch Fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I do like sci fi and fantasy - but there has been no good fantasy written since Moorcock packed it in...

Anonymous said...

Monster- Sometimes the visual effects can really bring something home though. 2001 was an amazing film.

SS- Yes V was good. Unfortunately, David Icke took it seriously.
Flash Gordon is a class film- I was actually having a look at some of the clips on You Tube, I really MUST get the DVD.

Welshcakes- Horses for courses, I guess. I just get mesmerised by the concepts in them, visualising life just so different to the way we know it.
No information is ever useless, it is good in pub quizzes! :)

Phish- I am slightly more on the Fantasy side myself. If it has magic, warriors, battles between Good and Evil, etc, I enjoy reading it.
I quite like it when the two blend.

Mutley- Read Robert Jordan's wheel of Time, I KNOW you'll like it!

Anonymous said...

My whole life is a smouldering fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I just can't read SciFi or Fantasy. Too pragmatic I guess. But our house is full of these books because the "old scientist" is a very big fan of both. He and my son swap these books all the time and even reread them constantly. Their big complaint is so many are part of a series.
I tend not to care for the films either but am forced to watch them if someone rents them. Usually I work on the computer with one eye on the screen.

Anonymous said...

I am so there with you I am a huge Star Wars fan but Star Trek not so much. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Farscape and cried when it got cancelled! It was my favorite sci fi show ever. I haven't found another one as good yet.