The geek's guide to SF cinema

Ryan Lambie

Book - 2018

"Why do SF movies matter? What do they tell us about the interests of storytellers and the changing tastes of cinema-goers? How have sci-fi movies evolved with filmmaking technology over the past 110 years? The Geek's Guide To SF Cinema provides an entertaining and in-depth history of the science fiction genre's pivotal and most influential movies. From the pioneering films of Georges Méliès to such blockbusters as Avatar and Inception in the 21st century, the book will explore ...how these key movies were made, how they reflected the mood of the time in which they were released, and how they've influenced other filmmakers in the years since. Historians and experts contribute to answer questions such as: 'How important was Fritz Lang's contribution to cinema?' and 'What did Alien say about the cynical climate of the 1970s?' Providing nostalgia for long-time SF addicts and context for those whose knowledge and love of the genre is still growing, this is a pop-culture book with depth."--

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Subjects
Genres
Science fiction films
Published
London : Robinson 2018.
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 260 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 242-244) and index.
ISBN
9781472139856
1472139852
Main Author
Ryan Lambie (author)
  • The silent-era pioneer : A trip to the Moon (1902)
  • Revolutionary cinema : Metropolis (1927)
  • Creator and creation : Frankenstein (1931)
  • Cinema's first sci-fi hero : Flash Gordon (1936)
  • UFO-era classics : The day the Earth stood still (1951)
  • Atomic monsters : Godzilla (1954)
  • The quiet invaders : Invasion of the body snatchers (1956)
  • Voyages among the stars : Forbidden planet (1956)
  • In the shadow of the bomb : Dr. Strangelove; or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (1964)
  • Into the unknown : 2001: Space Odyssey (1968)
  • An evolving franchise : Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Bleak futures : A clockwork orange (1971)
  • Galactic adventures : Star wars (1977)
  • Star beasts : Alien (1979)
  • It came from the desert : Mad Max (1979)
  • More human than human : Blade runner (1982)
  • A classic revived : The thing (1982)
  • Assassins and time travel : The terminator (1984)
  • Brave new worlds : Brazil (1985)
  • This time it's war : Aliens (1986)
  • Brutal satire : RoboCop (1987)
  • Ghost in the cel : Akira (1988)
  • Rise of the machines : Terminator 2: judgment day (1991)
  • Bringing back the dinosaurs : Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Appetite for destruction : Independence Day (1996)
  • Through the looking glass : The Matrix (1999)
  • Future shock : Minority report (2002)
  • Inhuman behavior : District 9 (2009)
  • Digital domains : Avatar (2009)
  • Dream logic : Inception (2010).
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Freelancer and film blogger Lambie discusses 30 of the most influential science fiction films in this compelling table-side reference. From the earliest film narrative, A Trip to the Moon (1902), to the most expensive and technologically advanced productions being released today, the volume traces the impact each film had on the successors. Appreciators of the genre might be tempted to run through the chronological table of contents to see which of their favorites make the cut, but the joy of Lambie's style is best appreciated as narrative nonfiction. Readers will be enlightened by such little-known matters as how the set of Metropolis (1927) made it into Frankenstein (1931) and how former medical student George Miller was inspired by the violence of Australian speed racing to create Mad Max (1979). Box office numbers and critical reception is not forsaken in the name of a film's belated great-film status. Lambie also runs down how each film inspired similar releases in their time. This carefully assembled volume includes a robust index, a marked list of films discussed at the end of each chapter, and a well-researched bibliography. For film scholars and sf geeks alike. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Lambie (deputy editor, denofgeek.com) highlights 30 pivotal films in this history of sf cinema spanning 1902–2010. The author devotes a chapter to each film, discussing its plot, production, and legacy. Although he relies on more recent research, he largely works within the established sf canon, and he's not saying anything new about, for instance, Forbidden Planet in only four pages. Where Lambie succeeds is in contextualizing a movie, demonstrating its importance by showing how it drew from previous works and inspired later ones. He is careful to point out this is a compilation of influential films, not a "best of" list—Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for example, is only mentioned. Lambie draws parallels between Frankenstein (1931) and RoboCop and illustrates how Godzilla (1954) launched a genre. He also displays a deep knowledge of his field, citing Soviet-era films, obscure silent titles, and plenty of direct-to-video efforts. The writing is playful and insightful, and each chapter ends with a list of view-alikes, which is sure to please genre buffs. VERDICT A fascinating, focused book for sf followers.—Terry Bosky, Madison, WI Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From one of the key contributors to popular website Den of Geek. Once a cult phenomenon, now a fixture of contemporary pop culture, SF cinema is explored through key turning points in its history through 30 significant films.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

'Awesome. Everything you've ever wanted to know about big-screen sci-fi' - James King, film critic

'Don't leave Planet Earth without it' - Dan Jolin, film critic

'A wonderfully accessible, fascinating, flat-out treasure che
st of science fiction cinema, from an author whose love of the subject leaps off the page' - Simon Brew, Editor, Den of Geek

Why do SF movies matter? What do they tell us about the interests of storytellers and the changing tastes of cinema-goers? How have SF movies evolved with filmmaking technology over the past 110 years?

The Geek's Guide To SF Cinema provides an entertaining and in-depth history of the science fiction genre's pivotal and most influential movies. From the pioneering films of Georges Méliès to such blockbusters as Avatar and Inception in the 21st century, the book will explore how these key movies were made, how they reflected the mood of the time in which they were released and how they have influenced other filmmakers in the years since.

Historians and experts contribute to answer questions such as: 'How important was Fritz Lang's contribution to cinema?' and 'What did Alien say about the cynical climate of the 1970s?'. Providing nostalgia for long-time SF addicts and context for those whose knowledge and love of the genre is still growing, this is a pop-culture book with depth.