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Ridley Scott says Sci-Fi is dull

RidleyScott.jpgYou have to agree with the man who made Blade Runner, he has said that science fiction has all been done before and there's nothing original. Can you argue with him on that point?

“There's nothing original. We've seen it all before. Been there. Done it. There is an over-reliance on special effects as well as weak story lines.”

I would tend to agree with him, particularly on his comment about story lines and special effects, but there could be hope out there with When Worlds Collide and The Day the Earth Stood Still, and yet they are both remakes, is that actually proving his point? Is there really nothing original since Blade Runner?

With so much science fiction having been made, is there really anything original out there? Ridley Scott seems to think not as his comment through WENN and Starpulse News Blog shows.

I've been reading Richard Morgan's books, and although the stories are fantastic, some of the best I've read in a long time, it borrows from film noir, westerns, and ideas from other science fiction stories, and yet there are some great and original aspects to it.

I wonder if there is truly anything new out there to be had. Is it all about the packaging and the style now, or can there really be totally original stories, or is the best we can hope for some clever twists and turns amongst well visited stories?

I think there is, but there has to be some investment from Hollywood, they have to turn to look at some great writers and give the adaptations respect and time, as well as involving the original authors in the development. Richard Morgan, Iain M. Banks, Greg Bear, these works could make great films, but not if Hollywood resorts to the stock and the cheap.




The Fountain
Code 46
Open Your Eyes / Vanilla Sky
The Prestige
Dune (1984, just after Blade Runner)
Children of Men

just off the top of my head. Ridley Scott is an Ass.

Oh, and hopefully David Fincher's Rendezvous with Rama is coming

Ass is a bit harsh I think!

I'd drop Vanilla Sky from that list since it is a remake, not saying it's bad, it's close to being as good as the original.

Interesting list though. Anyone got any more?

I guess this would hinge on what your definition of sci-fi is. It's a much broader brush now than it once was.
Scott singles out Independence Day, (basically a remake of War of The Worlds), War of the Worlds (basically a remake of War of The Worlds) and The Matrix on his lista della merda with 2001 : A Space Odyssey as his testicoli del cane.
“There's nothing original. We've seen it all before. Been there. Done it. There is an over-reliance on special effects as well as weak story lines.”
Pretty self evident for the first two replicants of a 50's classic. Major foot, firearm interaction on The Matrix as a standalone film though. However the point is again well made given the rapid descent of what was a landmark cinema experience into a muddled FxFest over the course of two sequels in a mere 12 months.
2001 : A Space Odyssey, or Rigsby in Space as I always think of it when Leonard Rossiter makes his appearance, is 'Proper SciFi' in story and setting and not just twaddle in a SciFi wrapper. But it's dull and drags on and on and on and …
Pulling up a random online list at http://www.scifi-movies.com/english/classement/movies.htm would confirm that, since 1982, there's been a lot less shinola on the ground than I might have thought. However the number of well-polished movies turned out in the last 25 years has still been pretty high. You may want to argue over how many of the following are SciFi but I'd include,

Alien Nation,
Dark City,
The Fifth Element,
Pitch Black,
I, Robot,

in my desert island Doovdé's. Relatively original, largely sequel free list of several.

Of course it could be equally argued that Blade Runner is just a hybrid of the glorious cityscapes and humanoid robot of Fritz Lang's Metropolis with any Ramond Chandler movie.
Standing on the shoulders of giants indeed.

(All comments IMHO naturally).

Nope, I don't think it is harsh. Anytime someone stands up and proclaims a genre or medium dead, well I think they are setting themselves up to be a bit of a blowhard or jackass. As much As I adore Alien and Blade Runner (two of my 3 favorite sci-fi films) I think as a prognosticator for the genre he is a flat out idiot in this case who hasn't dug beyond the multiplex.

(Same goes for others how proclaim American Cinema dead after Raging Bull or some such nonsense) - the gems may not always be in the mainstream, but they are out there and PLENTIFUL.

Well let's be fair, he didn't say it was dead. If he had I'd be totally with you Kurt.

He is right though, there's a huge amount of dross out there, as with a lot of genres right now - actually I don't think it's a genre problem, I think it's a studio control problem across all genres.

And that problem has existed since people were making one-reelies back in 1895. It's just after 2 decades go by, everyone forgets all the dross and remembers the good ones. The same will happen for the 90's and 00's in 10-15 years.

I think Scott is out to lunch with those comments. Severely lacking in perspective.

I do believe it's different now though, in the eighties and before there was a lot more independent and lower budget films that were still made for the final result of a film.

Now though it does feel more about getting "units" out there in the box office regardless, because there more there are the more return there is regardless of quality.

More of the dross and rubbish is coming from the bigger studios who are just churning out scripts that tick boxes, all except budgetry ones, knowing how to play those percentage returns.

It feels much colder and cynical nowadays, in the past even the dross had heart.

Perhaps that just rose tinted glasses, but that's how I feel about it. I'm not wholeheartedly agreeing with Scott though, you have highlighted some good films on that list, but the good list grows thinner and thinner.

Heh. There is a difference between "Thin" and "Dead" - just a few years ago I'd say that the western was as close to "Dead" as possible, few Cinema release, even few Direct-to-DVD titles.

But look at this fall:

3:10 to Yuma, No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and There Will be blood. (Notably also recently The Proposition, Seraphim Falls and the Tommy Lee Jones directed 3 Burials...)

It's just asinine to label a genre dead, as someone is bound to come along and revitalize it at any moment.


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