Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney
rozk

Well, of course, as expert I should have seen all of them...


And I don't necessarily agree with the selection. No 'Dark City' and no 'Small Soldiers', to mention a couple of my own favourites.

films, according to John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Science Fiction:


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Akira
Alien
Aliens
Alphaville - Somehow I have never seen it.
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Brazil
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet - I think I saw it, but it was late and night and I was probably stoned, so I am not going to count it.
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Contact
The Damned -Which I take it means the adaptation of 'The Midwich Cuckoos' which I have seen, and not the Visconti Nazi epic with Helmut Berger dressed up as Marlene, shiny.
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Delicatessen
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers serial
The Fly 1985 version
Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
Gojira/Godzilla
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
Metropolis
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Robocop
Sleeper
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives - 1975 version
Superman
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The Thing From Another World
Things To Come -I know I've seen most of it, and know the score quite well, but have I actually sat and watched the whole movie? Not sure.
Tron
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

Well, that could have been embarrassing, and was actually painless.

******

Oh, and another review.

THE WIZARD KNIGHT by Gene Wolfe ( Gollancz 920 pp £14.99)
reviewed by Roz Kaveney

In one of his brilliant early short stories, Gene Wolfe refers to the convention in Japanese puppetry that the audience agree to ignore the presence on stage of the dark-clad puppeteers. His long and productive career has produced work that ends up categorized as science fiction, fantasy or horror, to an extent that this intelligent and knowing writer is far too little known outside readers of those publishing categories. In particular, he deserves our respect for the endless inventiveness with which he subverts not only genre convention, but the assumptions of fiction.

'The Wizard Knight' is a chivalric romance, but it is also a death dream whose young hero's years of adventure in a world that amalgamates Norse myth, Malory and a neo-Platonist cosmology may be no more than fragmentary echoes of thought. Berthold, a cripple half-mad with grief, takes him for his brother Able, and that, in the absence of more than vague memories of America, is the name he takes. In everything that follows, accordingly, he has a complex relationship with truths that are never absolute, always provisional.

Wolfe is meditating, almost surreptitiously, on the absolutism of myth and romance and a moral relativism that is entirely alien to the fictional world he is exploring, but not to our reading of that world. Is Able's great longlost love, the dryad-like Moss Aelf Disiri, a child, a beautiful woman or 'a puppet of mud and leaves'? Is the High King Arnthor the just ruler he wishes to be or a moral monster who is truely a son of the dragon? Able has, in the course of this long narrative, to learn to choose magnanimously those versions of truth which serve the good of others and, latterly, his own longings.

This is a book about honour and what it is to be knightly, whose hero learns that ultimately his duty takes predecence over his word. There is a moral complexity to the dilemmas that Wolfe sets Able which entirely belies the deliberately and deceptively simple prose in which he tells his story, a prose which can lull the reader into thinking this a far more innocent book than this is. Just to remind us that nothing here is to be taken for granted, there are moments - a visit to the single concentrated point which is this world's Hell of ice - that manage to be both metaphysically terrifying and viscerally disgusting without straying outside young Able's deliberately restricted palate of language.

Published in the US as two volumes, the split came at the point when Able dies in this new world fighting a dragon and is carried into the sky by a Chooser of the Slain. This is a novel in which to be wise, to be a wizard, is to have travelled between worlds and returned, to know both life and death, truth and falsehood. By exploring double sight and threshold states, what at first sight seems to be a naive recital of jousts and battles with the monstrous gradually reveals itself as a meditation on dream and on fiction and the knowledge to be found in their gaudy illusions.
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