Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Podcast 073: Brazil

To tie in with the World Cup, sort of, we review the brilliant Brazil. After being disappointed by The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys, Ian finally gets why Terry Gilliam is held in such high regard.

101 Films Podcast 073 – Brazil

 

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Silent Running: Hicks and Hippies in Space

I first saw Silent Running when I was quite young (about 11 I think), and it left a profound impression on me. The very thought that the earth of the not-too-distant future would be a barren wasteland and that the only surviving plants would be on a spaceship orbiting Saturn absolutely horrified me. As far as I was concerned, this was the future I had to look forward to (at the impressionistic age of 11, I considered the film more as a solid prediction than a parable). Even worse, the idea that someone would order for those irreplaceable plants to be destroyed for no given reason shocked me to my core, and the film has lingered in my memory ever since.

Viewing the film again as an adult, there’s still something profoundly shocking about the order to destroy the forests, but it’s also clear that the film draws on deeper questions, such as the consequences of blithely following orders with no thought for the outcome. I was also able to better appreciate Bruce Dern’s excellent portrayal of the rebel gardener Freeman Lowell – as the sole human on screen for most of the film, he does a remarkable job of carrying the movie almost single-handedly. It’s also fascinating to watch his transformation as the film moves on, from a slightly irritating ‘hippier than thou’ character to a man swathed in regret for his actions and wrestling with the bitter ache of loneliness.

The film isn’t without its faults of course – although the special effects are generally a cut above other films of the era, you still have to squint a little to stop noticing that quite a lot of the futuristic technology seems to be made out of Airfix kits and car parts. This is easily forgivable due to the film’s age and low budget, but the folk music that occasionally blares into the void of space is less easily brushed aside. At best you could say it’s a bit twee when Joan Baez’s voice blasts incongruously out of the speakers, but at worst it’s fairly comical, and for me it detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of an otherwise serious and thought-provoking film.

It would be great to see a return to the serious sci-fi of the seventies, when characters were more likely to ponder the nature of the human race than zap an alien menace. Moon and Sunshine were some recent examples of a return to this brand of serious sci-fi – let’s hope there’s more like that to come (and if our review has whetted your appetite for a bit of classic sci-fi, you can buy the Silent Running DVD through Amazon here).

Oh, and finally there’s another Surprise Sponsor. Though not that surprising as they outright asked to be mentioned. So fellas over at www.crashandburnmoviepodcast.co.uk, we hope you’re pleased.

Anyway, without further ado, let us present this week’s feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 037 – Silent Running

OR subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the link below:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to also to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Douglas Trumbull Year of release: 1972 Studio/Distributor:  Universal Pictures Country: USA

Podcast 037: Silent Running

This week Lewis and Ian delve into the wonderful world of serious 1970s science fiction with Silent Running. Plus there’s another Surprise Sponsor of the week that should please the fellas at http://www.crashandburnmoviepodcast.co.uk (note the lack of a wordpress address, classy).

101 Films Podcast 037 – Silent Running

Turns out nuclear testing is a BAD thing

Having a bad day? Spilt coffee over your new shoes? Neighbours playing loud music? Computer on the blink? No matter how bad your day gets, take pity on the poor inhabitants of Earth in The Day The Earth Caught Fire. In their version of the early 1960s, massive nuclear tests have sent the planet spiralling to a fiery death in the Sun, which kind of puts your bad day to shame really. Also, in this weird alternative Earth, the Daily Express is actually a well-respected, hard-news-focused quality newspaper. Strange eh?

Join us as we celebrate all things Leo McKern, swoon over the lovely Janet Munro and marvel at how simple matte paintings of ruined London actually look a darn sight better than most contemporary CGI imaginings of the apocalypse. Also, find out how queuing has a key role in the end of the world (in Britain at least). We also manage to not talk about the ending, despite that being one the things people always talk about when they discuss this film. Well done us!

Without further ado, here’s this week’s feature presentation… Click below:

Or download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 015 – The Day The Earth Caught Fire

OR subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the link below:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog.

Director: Val Guest Year of release: 1961 Studio/Distributor: British Lion Films (UK), Universial International Pictures (USA) Country: UK

Podcast 015: The Day The Earth Caught Fire

No matter how bad your day gets, take pity on the poor inhabitants of Earth in The Day The Earth Caught Fire. In their version of the early 1960s, massive nuclear tests have sent the planet spiralling to a fiery death in the Sun, which kind of puts your bad day to shame really.

101 Films Podcast 015 – The Day The Earth Caught Fire