5Thoughts: 21st Century SciFiFlix

FROM SOMEONE WHO WAS 15 when the first Star Wars premiered, and has recently been introducing the wife to the pre-1977 fruits of sfnal cinema:

1.) Though splashier, CGI doesn’t provide half the sense of wonder these days as models. “You mean somebody built that? With their hands? WOW.”

2.) Those films have aged least which most successfully combine visceral message with kitbashed production values. (When’s the last time you saw Silent Running, Soylent Green or even Dark Star?)

3. WHAT’S with all the DAMN VAMPIRES? Robots are less pretentious and, unless they’re C3PO, can be just as scary.

4. As we move into the 21st century — my generation’s cultural event horizon; remember wondering whether 1984 would resemble 1984?) — I’m beginning to understand the truth that the past is an inaccessible country. Once upon a time, there was an unanticipatable future to look toward; today, our dreams more resemble the tools we use to construct them. (Which isn’t bad; after all, we’re still dreaming, and doing so with greater togetherness. And yet I miss the hand-drawn days, free of ironic self-commentary, when men were men and “derivative” was still “seminal.”)

5. I’ve finally gotten over not having a jetpack. And a transfer booth. But foregoing a 100-mile-up HoJo lunch: not so much. (And whatever happened to Space Food Sticks?!?)

HoJo, per 2001: A space odyssey

Howard Johnson, c. 2001

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