News Thoughts

Is sci-fi really dead?

Ridley ScottThe Guardian was one of many outlets over the weekend reporting Ridley Scott’s recent assertion that sci-fi was “dead”.

They report:

Sir Ridley Scott believes that the science fiction movie is a spent force; an extinct race; a decommissioned battlestar. Talking in Venice, where he was presenting another new cut of Blade Runner, the director declared the genre as dead as the western.

“There’s nothing original,” says Scott. “We’ve seen it all before. Been there. Done it.” Asked to pick out examples, he said: “All of them. Yes, all of them.”

Scott – who has been responsible for two sci-fi classics (he also directed Alien) – went on to add that no film in the genre could ever beat Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, “the best of the best”.

Remembering that he has given the genre two bona fide classics in Alien and Blade Runner, perhaps his comments should give us pause for thought.

Even quality sci-fi films in recent years seem to owe a great deal to Scott’s films and Kubrick’s classic 1968 film. Motifs such as the monolith in 2001 and even the device of having a band of contrasting characters aboard a spaceship have been used so often that maybe Ridley has a point. But to say that there isn’t anything original does sound a little too grumpy and shortsighted to me.

If you want to check out quality sci-fi made in recent years then I would suggest watching Children of Men, Sunshine, Serenity, Gattaca, Twelve Monkeys, The Matrix, Solaris, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly.

What do you think? Feel free to post your thoughts below.