Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Inspirations - Scifi/Fantasy Films

Staying with inspirations, these are my top five scifi/fantasy films that I wanted to share with you - let me know if you agree or what your alternative listing is! :)

1.Star Wars. Okay, slight cheat here as this refers to all three films of the original trilogy (and not the later-made prequels). If you want me to stick to the 'rules' then I'd put The Empire Strikes Back in the top slot. For me, this film is 'the Trials of Luke Skywalker' in the finest tradition of testing a young hero, and his struggle to deal with his new-found powers and his dedication to the Jedi religion while still being true to the people he loves. These were the films that converted me from my early love of fantasy to the world of science-fiction. Well, that, and a small crush on Luke Skywalker.<blushes>

2.The Fifth Element. Although I think the story is a little weak and Zorg (Gary Oldman) comes across as one of the most ineffectual villains I know, I love this film. Visually entertaining and with some fab music, it has redeeming features, the feisty and yet fragile Leeloo for one. There's also some great humour in this, and Zorg's crowning moment is his reaction when, having deactivated his own bomb, the device set by the Mangalores activates and explodes. The clip here is the Diva's performance - and it's probably not what you'd expect if you haven't seen the film. I love the mix of classical with funky electronica in this piece. Also evidence that I'm not the first person to have blue aliens, and to do so is not simply 'copying' Avatar. :-/

3.Galaxy Quest. A parody of Star Trek and similar scifi shows, this has some fantastic humour in it, but also rather poignant. If you were famous for a particular scifi role and the show got cut and you couldn't find another job, what would you do? Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith, the actor who played Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart, throws himself whole-heartedly into conventions and playing to his fans, only to discover that his 'crew' hate him. Just as he loses faith in himself and everything he's done, a group of aliens who have taken the show as reality - 'historical documents' - seek him out and ask for his help. The show's catch phrase of 'Never give up, never surrender!' is a cry all aspiring authors could adopt. :) The one down-point in this film for me is the death of Quellek. :( Strangely for me, I didn't feel my general nerdiness was being mocked - as scifi geek Brandon in the film says; I'm not a complete nutcase, you know, I understand it's not real. :-P

4.A Knight's Tale. Okay, this appeals more to my mushy side I'm afraid. I love the medieval era and have used touches of it in my writing. I adore Heath Ledger's character in this - a young man striving for his dreams, prepared to take any risk to achieve it, and despite the odd tantrum, he does so with the same nobility of the high-born knights he hopes to emulate. In fact, his behaviour is a darn sight more noble than some of the so-called champions he meets. The use of some classic rock music rather than the more historically-accurate kind makes this stand out for me, and the romantic elements are enough to touch my heart without making me cringe. Sir Ulrich and his lady Jocelyn are well-matched, and his heart-felt belief in himself and determination to succeed are inspiring!

5.The Dark Crystal. I adore this film. For me, it's unique and special. The skill that was needed to make it, the weird and wonderful characters - the whole concept of it. At a time when computerized special effects were laborious and still required the use of models and blue screen, in the early days of animatronics, this film is iconic. To this day, I still collect Brian Froud's fairies, and I even have a couple of the figures - Jen and Kira - that my husband bought me as a birthday present one year. My first full length story was based on this film. Am I gushing too much? :-P

So tell me your top inspiring films, and why they did it for you. :)

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