Arthur C Clarke in Memorium: Video on 2001 A Space Odyssey

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Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at his Sri Lankan home, aged 90. Don't miss this spellbinding video interview with director James Cameron (Alien/Titanic), the philosopher Camille Paglia, and Sir Arthur C. Clarke on the making and importance of Stanely Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey. Cameron rightly describes 2001 as the most important science-fiction film ever made.

Clarke was the last surviving member of the "Big Three" of science fiction: Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.

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Ridley Scott, Post '2001 -A Space Odyssey': Science Fiction is Dead!

Ridley_scott_2 In a speech at the Venice Film Festival at  special screening of his seminal noir thriller Blade Runner, Sir Ridley Scott, the legendary director of Alien, believes that science-fiction as a genre is dead, going the way of Westerns.

Sir Ridley believes that although the flashy effects of recent block-busters, such as The Matrix, Independence Day and The War of the Worlds, may sell tickets, that none can beat Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 epic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Cyberspace Guru William Gibson: Reality has Replaced Science Fiction

William_gibson_2_2 In an interview with Reuters Life about his new book, Spook Country, the 59-year old American author and science-fiction futurist, William Gibson, says it's hard to write science fiction anymore when reality is so unbelievable. Gibson's vision of the internet and Reality TV- before they existed- has led many to call his work prophetic.

 

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Notable Films on Fate of Mankind

Genome010625Geneticists often endow DNA with a nearly spiritual importance. Their own language -- describing the human genome as the "Book of Man," the "essence of life" or the "Holy Grail" -- plays directly into popular belief in the sanctity of the human genome. This spiritual language about the human genome helps fuel the anti-technology aspects of human gene manipulation in science fiction cinema: How can scientists consider our genome humanity's "soul," and then commit sacrilege by manipulating a "holy object?"  Don't miss this brilliant essay on Hollywood's treament of the fate of the human genome. Posted by Jason McManus.

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Behind the Scenes at "Children of Men"

Children_of_men_1If you've seen the movie, you'll enjoy this cool inside look at the making of Alfonso Cuaron's Academy Award nominee, thought by many critics to be the best SciFi flick since Blade Runner. Juliane Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine (like you've never seen him!) star. It's 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind. Based on P.D. Jame's novel.

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While We're talkin' about Blade Runner...

Pkdrobot_2Don't miss this unforgettable review of Philip K. Dick's (author of Blade Runner, at left as android) novels, including the profound The Cosmic Puppets (published in 1953), a slim, mind-bending work where New Yorker Ted Barton returns to his Virginia hometown to discover that everything has changed — street names, houses, inhabitants. The local paper reports that he died as a 9-year-old, and he discovers that the current townspeople operate under a mutual, sustainable delusion. All Barton wants is to get back to the status quo — a return to normalcy. What follows is "a Zoroastrian freakout-cum-battle featuring golems, spiders, moths and gods."

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Avatar -James Cameron's New Sci-Fi Film

James_cameron Legendary Canadian director and three-time Academy Award winner, James Cameron, will direct his first film since his 1997 Titanic. The $200 million science fiction film, Avatar, tells the story of a band of humans battling for survival with the inhabitants of a distant planet. Cameron will be collaborating with Peter Jackson, director of Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The 52-year-old director of the Terminator series and Alien said he had conceived the project 11 years ago but had been waiting for technological advancements that will enable him to bring his vision to the big screen.

"I've wanted to do it since then, but sort of shoved it in the back of the pic," Cameron told Daily Variety on Tuesday.

The project was given the green light by Fox studios earlier this week.

Cameron started in the film industry as a screenwriter, then moved into art direction and effects for films such as Battle Beyond the Stars and Escape from New York. Working with producer Roger Corman, Cameron landed his first directorial job in 1981 for the film Piranha II: The Spawning, shot at Grand Cayman Island for the underwater diving sequences and in Rome, Italy for most of the interior scenes. He was originally hired as the special effects director (and his hand in story-writing can be suspected under the H. A. Milton pseudonym on the original script), and took over the direction when the original director left.

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Children of Men -A Successor to Blade Runner

Childrenofmen2006janjj1 Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children of Men,” an electrifying and impassioned science-fiction film based on P.D. James novel, begins in the year 2027, women can no longer give birth; the world has fallen into disarray, stricken by nuclear war, , corrupt regimes and warring factions. Theo (Clive Owen), a former activist, is approached by his revolutionary ex-lover (Julianne Moore) with a favor:  He is to help the first pregnant woman in nearly 20 years reach a safe haven called the Human Project. 

Amid the impending doom of “Children of Men,” Cuarón with the help of Emmanuel Lubezki’s exceptional camerawork injects a strong undercurrent of hope, with message of faith, not necessarily in a higher power, but faith in a better tomorrow. . The film parallels the Christian nativity, though it does not specifically stay within the confines of that story. Cuarón achieves a great deal of spirituality without going too far.

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Children of God Trailer


George Clooney & Company to bring "Diamond Age" to SciFi Channel

Thediamondage_1 The Sci Fi Channel announced that George Clooney will be part of the creative team bringing the retro cyberpunk novel, The Diamond Age to the channel. Neal Stephenson will adapt the miniseries from his novel, which breaks new ground in a series that forecasts the coming nanotechnological revolution. Stephenson creates a future in which molecular machines can create any object or structure. National governments have broken down, leaving society divided into "tribes" along ethnic, cultural, and ideological lines, the most dynamic of which are the new-Victorian Atlanteans near the ancient city of Shanghai.

Stephenson's command of character and stylistic nuance has grown captivatingly stronger, and he now offers startling new ideas in virtually every paragraph. With breathtaking vision and insight, Stephenson establishes himself as not only a major voice in contemporary science fiction, but also a prophet of technology's future. Decades into the future, John Percival Hackworth, cultured nanotech engineer risks the censure of his neo-Victorian social class, or tribe, when he forges an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive book called A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer for his daughter Fiona.

The primer is actually a super computer built with nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's daughter. With the unprecedented power to single-handedly educate its reader, the primer is designed to shape the values and maintain the superiority of the dominant tribe by teaching young girls how to think for themselves in that stifling neo-Victorian society.

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