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Other notable science fiction films of the silent era include The Impossible Voyage , The Motorist , The Conquest of the Pole , Himmelskibet ; which with its runtime of 97 minutes generally is considered the first feature-length science fiction film in history ,  The Cabinet of Dr. In the s, there were several big budget science fiction films, notably Just Imagine , King Kong , Things to Come , and Lost Horizon Starting in , a number of science fiction comic strips were adapted as serials , notably Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers , both starring Buster Crabbe.
These serials, and the comic strips they were based on, were very popular with the general public. Other notable science fiction films of the s include Frankenstein , Bride of Frankenstein , Doctor X , Dr. Hyde , F. Cyclops , The Devil Commands , Dr. The release of Destination Moon and Rocketship X-M brought us to what many people consider "the golden age of the science fiction film". In the s, public interest in space travel and new technologies was great.
While many s science fiction films were low-budget B movies , there were several successful films with larger budgets and impressive special effects. There is often a close connection between films in the science fiction genre and the so-called " monster movie ". Examples of this are Them! During the s, Ray Harryhausen , protege of master King Kong animator Willis O'Brien, used stop-motion animation to create special effects for the following notable science fiction films: It Came from Beneath the Sea , Earth vs. The most successful monster movies were kaiju films released by Japanese film studio Toho.
Japanese science fiction films, particularly the tokusatsu and kaiju genres, were known for their extensive use of special effects , and gained worldwide popularity in the s. Kaiju and tokusatsu films, notably Warning from Space , sparked Stanley Kubrick 's interest in science fiction films and influenced A Space Odyssey According to his biographer John Baxter , despite their "clumsy model sequences, the films were often well-photographed in colour Any movie featuring realistic space travel was at risk of being obsolete at its time of release, rather fossil than fiction.
There were relatively few science fiction films in the s, but some of the films transformed science fiction cinema. Stanley Kubrick 's A Space Odyssey brought new realism to the genre, with its groundbreaking visual effects and realistic portrayal of space travel and influenced the genre with its epic story and transcendent philosophical scope. Other s films included Planet of the Vampires by Italian filmmaker Mario Bava , that is regarded as one of the best movies of the period, Planet of the Apes and Fahrenheit , which provided social commentary, and the campy Barbarella , which explored the sillier side of earlier science fiction.
Jean-Luc Godard 's French "new wave" film Alphaville posited a futuristic Paris commanded by an artificial intelligence which has outlawed all emotion. The era of manned trips to the moon in and the s saw a resurgence of interest in the science fiction film. Andrei Tarkovsky 's slow-paced Solaris and philosophical Stalker are two widely acclaimed examples of the renewed interest of film auteurs in science fiction. Science fiction films from the early s explored the theme of paranoia, in which humanity is depicted as under threat from sociological, ecological or technological adversaries of its own creation, such as George Lucas 's directional debut THX , The Andromeda Strain , Silent Running , Soylent Green , Westworld and its sequel Futureworld , and Logan's Run Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were box-office hits that brought about a huge increase in science fiction films.
In , Star Trek: The Motion Picture brought the television series to the big screen for the first time. Ridley Scott 's films, such as Alien and Blade Runner , along with James Cameron 's The Terminator , presented the future as dark, dirty and chaotic, and depicted aliens and androids as hostile and dangerous. In contrast, Steven Spielberg 's E. Clarke 's sequel to , , were box office failures that dissuaded producers from investing in science fiction literary properties.
Disney's Tron turned out to be a moderate success. The strongest contributors to the genre during the second half of the s were James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven with The Terminator and RoboCop entries. Robert Zemeckis ' film Back to the Future and its sequels were critically praised and became box office successes, not to mention international phenomena.
The Japanese anime film Akira also had a big influence outside Japan when released. In the s, the emergence of the World Wide Web and the cyberpunk genre spawned several movies on the theme of the computer-human interface, such as Terminator 2: Other themes included disaster films e. Also, the Star Wars prequel trilogy began with the release of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace , which eventually grossed over one billion dollars.
As the decade progressed, computers played an increasingly important role in both the addition of special effects thanks to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park and the production of films. As software developed in sophistication it was used to produce more complicated effects. It also enabled filmmakers to enhance the visual quality of animation, resulting in films such as Ghost in the Shell from Japan, and The Iron Giant from the United States. During the first decade of the s, superhero films abounded, as did earthbound science fiction such as the Matrix trilogy.
In , the Star Wars saga was completed with the darkly themed Star Wars: Science-fiction also returned as a tool for political commentary in films such as A. The s also saw the release of Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen , both of which resulted in worldwide box office success.
In , James Cameron 's Avatar garnered worldwide box office success, and would later become the highest-grossing movie of all time. This movie was also an example of political commentary. It depicted humans destroying the environment on another planet by mining for a special metal called unobtainium. That same year, Terminator Salvation was released and garnered only moderate success. The s has seen new entries in several classic science fiction franchises, including Predators , Tron: Legacy , a resurgence of the Star Wars series, and entries into the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla franchises.
The superhero film boom has also continued, into films such as Iron Man 2 and 3 , several entries into the X-Men film series , and The Avengers , which became the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time. New franchises such as Deadpool , Wonder Woman , and Guardians of the Galaxy have also begun in this decade. Further into the decade, more realistic science fiction epic films have also become prevalent, including Gravity , Elysium , Interstellar , Mad Max: Many of these films have gained widespread accolades, including several Academy Award wins and nominations.
These films have addressed recent matters of scientific interest, including space travel, climate change, and artificial intelligence. Alongside these original films, many adaptations have been produced, especially within the young adult dystopian fiction subgenre, popular in the early part of the decade. Independent productions have also increased in the s, with the rise of digital filmmaking making it easier for amateur filmmakers to produce movies.
The Force Awakens Science fiction films are often speculative in nature, and often include key supporting elements of science and technology. However, as often as not the "science" in a Hollywood science fiction movie can be considered pseudo-science, relying primarily on atmosphere and quasi-scientific artistic fancy than facts and conventional scientific theory. The definition can also vary depending on the viewpoint of the observer. Many science fiction films include elements of mysticism, occult , magic, or the supernatural , considered by some to be more properly elements of fantasy or the occult or religious film.
The movie Forbidden Planet employs many common science fiction elements, but the film carries a profound message - that the evolution of a species toward technological perfection in this case exemplified by the disappeared alien civilization called the "Krell" does not ensure the loss of primitive and dangerous urges.
Some films blur the line between the genres, such as films where the protagonist gains the extraordinary powers of the superhero. These films usually employ quasi-plausible reason for the hero gaining these powers. Not all science fiction themes are equally suitable for movies. Science fiction horror is most common. Often enough, these films could just as well pass as Westerns or World War II films if the science fiction props were removed.
Film theorist Vivian Sobchack argues that science fiction films differ from fantasy films in that while science fiction film seeks to achieve our belief in the images we are viewing, fantasy film instead attempts to suspend our disbelief. The science fiction film displays the unfamiliar and alien in the context of the familiar.
Despite the alien nature of the scenes and science fictional elements of the setting, the imagery of the film is related back to mankind and how we relate to our surroundings. While the science fiction film strives to push the boundaries of the human experience, they remain bound to the conditions and understanding of the audience and thereby contain prosaic aspects, rather than being completely alien or abstract. Genre films such as westerns or war movies are bound to a particular area or time period. This is not true of the science fiction film.
However, there are several common visual elements that are evocative of the genre. These include the spacecraft or space station, alien worlds or creatures, robots, and futuristic gadgets. While science is a major element of this genre, many movie studios take significant liberties with scientific knowledge.
Such liberties can be most readily observed in films that show spacecraft maneuvering in outer space. The vacuum should preclude the transmission of sound or maneuvers employing wings, yet the soundtrack is filled with inappropriate flying noises and changes in flight path resembling an aircraft banking. The filmmakers, unfamiliar with the specifics of space travel , focus instead on providing acoustical atmosphere and the more familiar maneuvers of the aircraft.
Similar instances of ignoring science in favor of art can be seen when movies present environmental effects as portrayed in Star Wars and Star Trek. Entire planets are destroyed in titanic explosions requiring mere seconds, whereas an actual event of this nature takes many hours. The role of the scientist has varied considerably in the science fiction film genre, depending on the public perception of science and advanced technology. Frankenstein , the mad scientist became a stock character who posed a dire threat to society and perhaps even civilization.
Certain portrayals of the "mad scientist", such as Peter Sellers 's performance in Dr. Strangelove , have become iconic to the genre. Reflecting the distrust of government that began in the s in the United States, the brilliant but rebellious scientist became a common theme, often serving a Cassandra -like role during an impending disaster. Cybernetics and holographic projections as depicted in RoboCop and I, Robot are also popularized.
Interstellar travel and teleportation is a popular theme in the Star Trek series that is achieved through warp drives and transporters while intergalactic travel is popular in films such as Stargate and Star Wars that is achieved through hyperspace or wormholes. Nanotechnology is also featured in the Star Trek series in the form of replicators utopia , in The Day the Earth Stood Still in the form of grey goo dystopia , and in Iron Man 3 in the form of extremis nanotubes. Force fields is a popular theme in Independence Day while invisibility is also popular in Star Trek.
Arc reactor technology, featured in Iron Man , is similar to a cold fusion device. The late Arthur C. Clarke 's third law states that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".
Past science fiction films have depicted "fictional" "magical" technologies that became present reality. Gesture recognition in the movie Minority Report is part of current game consoles. Human-level artificial intelligence is also fast approaching with the advent of smartphone A. KITT from the Knight Rider series and quantum computers , like in the movie Stealth and Transcendence , also will be available eventually.
Furthermore, although Clarke's laws does not classify "sufficiently advanced" technologies , the Kardashev scale measures a civilization's level of technological advancement into types. Due to its exponential nature, sci-fi civilizations usually only attain Type I harnessing all the energy attainable from a single planet , and strictly speaking often not even that. The concept of life, particularly intelligent life, having an extraterrestrial origin is a popular staple of science fiction films. Early films often used alien life forms as a threat or peril to the human race, where the invaders were frequently fictional representations of actual military or political threats on Earth as observed in films such as Mars Attacks!
Some aliens were represented as benign and even beneficial in nature in such films as Escape to Witch Mountain , E. In order to provide subject matter to which audiences can relate, the large majority of intelligent alien races presented in films have an anthropomorphic nature, possessing human emotions and motivations. However, the aliens in Stargate and Prometheus were human in physical appearance but communicated in an alien language.
A few films have tried to represent intelligent aliens as something utterly different from the usual humanoid shape e. An intelligent life form surrounding an entire planet in Solaris , the ball shaped creature in Dark Star , microbial-like creatures in The Invasion , shape-shifting creatures in Evolution.
Recent trends in films involve building-size alien creatures like in the movie Pacific Rim where the CGI has tremendously improved over the previous decades as compared in previous films such as Godzilla. A frequent theme among science fiction films is that of impending or actual disaster on an epic scale. These often address a particular concern of the writer by serving as a vehicle of warning against a type of activity, including technological research.
In the case of alien invasion films, the creatures can provide as a stand-in for a feared foreign power. Disaster films typically fall into the following general categories: While monster films do not usually depict danger on a global or epic scale, science fiction film also has a long tradition of movies featuring monster attacks.
Similar books to Silent Landing (A Near Future Adventure): Book 3 in the Silent Trek Trilogy (Silent Trek the Trilogy); Due to its large file size, this book may take . Silent Trek - The Trilogy (A Science Fiction Adventure): 50+ Photo Realistic Illustrations - Kindle edition by Look inside this book. A near future adventure.
These differ from similar films in the horror or fantasy genres because science fiction films typically rely on a scientific or at least pseudo-scientific rationale for the monster's existence, rather than a supernatural or magical reason. Often, the science fiction film monster is created, awakened, or "evolves" because of the machinations of a mad scientist, a nuclear accident, or a scientific experiment gone awry. The core mental aspects of what makes us human has been a staple of science fiction films, particularly since the s.
Blade Runner examined what made an organic-creation a human, while the RoboCop series saw an android mechanism fitted with the brain and reprogrammed mind of a human to create a cyborg. The idea of brain transfer was not entirely new to science fiction film, as the concept of the " mad scientist " transferring the human mind to another body is as old as Frankenstein while the idea of corporations behind mind transfer technologies is observed in later films such as Gamer , Avatar , and Surrogates.
Films such as Total Recall have popularized a thread of films that explore the concept of reprogramming the human mind.
Voluntary erasure of memory is further explored as themes of the films Paycheck and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.