Eight years ago I moved from England, where I was born and bred, to Scotland. Eight days ago I moved from Scotland back to England not, I have to be honest, without a certain sense of relief. I was coming home. In Scotland, I had never belonged. And on top of that, it’s the year of The Referendum. So it seems oddly timely to be writing my first Sci-Fi-London blog on a film which can be read, at least at first, as being about an English woman’s experience of Scotland.
Terry Gilliam, the mind behind Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, Time Bandits and so many more strange and beautiful films, is back once again, in between bouts of trying to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made, for a new mindbending sci-fi, The Zero Theorem. Gilliam has stated that the film is a very personal piece about the simple desire to be alone, and how in today's world, that's not so easy to do.
I've noticed in recent years that people have stopped sneering at sci-fi. Maybe it's because nearly all of the highest grossing Hollywood movies seem to be science fiction or fantasy stories. What sci-fi and fantasy does regularly now is to give us the "wow!" factor in our minds. But what I find amazing is the fact that technologies such as we saw in sci-fi movies are in some ways becoming reality, giving us that "wow!" factor in real life too.
In the Simpsons episode Homer vs Dignity, Mr Burns decides to make a impoverished Homer Simpson his “prank monkey” in return for cash payments which Homer desperately needs in order to stave off bankruptcy. One of the pranks Burns directs Homer to commit is to eat a rare and very expensive Spider-Man comic in front of Comic Book Guy, the comic book shop proprietor. So, Homer goes into the shop and says to Comic Book Guy:
“I would like to buy a mint condition Spiderman issue number one.”
To which Comic Book Guy replies sarcastically:
“And I would like an hour on the holodeck with Seven of Nine, but it ain’t going to happen!”
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, in commenting upon the Twitter phenomenon, once said "we wanted flying cars, they gave us 140 characters".
Not very practical is our Mr Thiel then. Keeping your Twitter followers up-to-date on your life and work … no thanks. Turning up for work in a Jetsons’ style flying car … yes please! But that's visionaries for you. I think we dream of acquiring amazing gadgets partly to escape the mundane and boring aspects of every day life, imagining that advanced technology is somehow going to make everyday life continuously fabulous (that's if you're one of those strange folk who hasn't watched Blade Runner yet). And a flying car sure beats walking.
In 1960 Connie Francis, despairing of the fact that the real flesh and blood men were just a waste of space, and yearning instead for a mechanical playmate, sang her heart out in the song "Robot Man":
I want a robot man to hold me tight
One that I can count on every si-ingle night
He wouldn't run around like other guys
I wouldn't have to listen to his alibis
Please welcome Herb Enmarch-Williams to the SCI-Fi-LONDON fold and have a read of this fab article on some cool goodies for the festive season and beyond! Well, you can dream about owning some of this tech right?!
On July 9th, 1982 (31 years ago) TRON was released in the US.
This revolutionary movie, 70mm, frame-by-frame, back-lit and the first movie to use Computer Generated Images, tells the story of a computer game world under threat. A truly inspirational and ambitious project, the more you learn about it, the more amazing it becomes.
It is not often that I blog on our website, most of things that I want to comment on or rant about are covered by much better writers, but I did feel the need to put a few words down about tech toys, big props and some fun technology.
Off to see the Wizard..