Blade Runner tops scientist poll

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Kachi Khatri, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Kachi Khatri

    Kachi Khatri Second Unit

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    Scientists' Top 10 Sci-Fi Films

    SCIENTISTS' TOP 10 SCI-FI FILMS

    1. Blade Runner (1982)
    2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    3. Star Wars (1977)/Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    4. Alien (1979)
    5. Solaris (1972)
    6. Terminator (1984)/T2: Judgement Day (1991)
    7. Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    8. War of the Worlds (1953)
    9. The Matrix (1999)
    10. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)


    Eminent world scientists have voted Ridley Scott's Blade Runner the best science fiction film to date.
    The 1982 movie, in which retired cop Harrison Ford hunts four renegade human replicants, came top in a poll of 60 scientists by the Guardian newspaper.

    Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey came second, with Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back taking third place.

    Stephen Minger, a stem cell biologist, said Blade Runner had won because it was "so far ahead of its time".

    The film was loosely based on the Philip K Dick short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and is set in a dystopian futuristic vision of Los Angeles.

    Mr Minger, from King's College, London, said: "Blade Runner is the best movie ever made.

    "It was so far ahead of its time and the whole premise of the story - what is it to be human and who are we, where we come from? It's the age-old questions."

    Chris Frith of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College, London, paid tribute to the film's discussion of how to tell a human from a machine.

    'Appealing idea'

    The empathy test used by the movie's policemen "is not far away from the sort of thing that cognitive neuroscientists are actually doing today," he said.

    Kubrick and author Arthur C Clarke's collaboration, 2001: A Space Odyssey, was rated highly in the poll for special effects which were revolutionary at the time it was filmed in 1968.

    Other movies which made it into the scientists' top 10 included Terminator and T2: Judgement Day, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Matrix.

    Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, California, voted for the 1953 classic, War of the Worlds.

    He said: "The idea that there could be life that's developed in completely other circumstances in a completely different world which you would never recognise. That's a very appealing idea."


    The scientists were also asked by the Guardian to vote for their favourite authors.

    Isaac Asimov headed the list for his novel I, Robot - which has just been made into a film starring Will Smith - and the Foundation Trilogy.

    Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham was also a favourite, as was Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud.

    Other writers in the top 10 included Arthur C Clarke, Ursula le Guin, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert and Stanislaw Lem.
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    All great Sci-Fi films. I'd rate them as follows...

    1. Alien (1979)
    2. Blade Runner (1982)
    3. War of the Worlds (1953)
    4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    5. Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    6. Star Wars (1977)/Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    7. Terminator (1984)/T2: Judgement Day (1991)
    8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    9. The Matrix (1999)
    10. Solaris (1972)
     
  3. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    Take The Matrix off and replace it with Total Recall
     
  4. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Gattaca should be on that list.
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Good list

    There are a few I'm surprised are even included on a "Scientist's" list. Honestly, as to "hard sci-fi", #2 should have been #1.

    1,2,4,5,7 & 8 are some of my favorite films in any genre.



    Without a doubt. A great, if not underrated film.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    My top 10:

    Star Wars
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    The Empire Strikes BAck
    Back to the Future
    E.T.
    Blade Runner
    The Terminator
    Terminator 2
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


    Some of those 50s films that made the list might have been based on good ideas, but they're still pretty much B films, which have never appealed to me. Besides, I think time travel is a much more interesting idea than alien invaders. [​IMG]
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    An interesting list. I like how they only include the first two films in the Star Wars and Terminator series! [​IMG] (Although I did like T3.)

    A picky point: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep is a novel, not a short story, and I, Robot is a collection of stories, not a novel. [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    Good list. I just don't agree with the order.

    1. 2001
    2. Alien
    3. Blade Runner

    Then the rest in no paticular order though I have to admit I've never seen "Solaris (1972)". Of course we could open a can of worms and argue what constitutes "Science Fiction".
     
  9. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Interesting list. Good selection. But I'm a bit surprised 'eminent world scientists' prefer 'androids on the rampage actioner' Blade Runner to that 'ultimate trip' 2001.
    And I would have taken out 'cure for insomnia' Solaris and replaced it with the 50's 'super classic' Forbidden Planet. [​IMG]
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    You must not know many scientists [​IMG] They are also known to like Beavis and Butthead, listen to death-metal, and go to monster-truck shows.

    I agree, Gattaca is deserving of the list. And I'm a scientist -- just not eminent [​IMG]
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Personally I would describe it as a "large novella", smaller than a standard novel yet bigger than a standard novella.
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    You know, I'm a scientist, so I was trying to figure out why I didn't get a vote. Then I noticed the 'eminent' adjective. I'm many things, but that ain't one of them. [​IMG]
     
  13. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Rocket? [​IMG]
     
  14. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    You ain't kidding me. Solaris was the "surprise" at the 1am mark of the CWRU SF marathon. I have to say, no better movie to go to sleep to. I couldn't stay awake even if I wanted to...

    I'm a bit surprised that Contact didn't make the list...

    Jason
     
  15. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Contact is certainly worthy

    some others, only opinion of course:

    THX1138 ( I like this better than his other films)
    Star Trek: First Contact (sorry, love this one)
    12 Monkeys
    This Island Earth
    Blue Sunshine [​IMG]
    The Lathe of Heaven (PBS)- wouldn't qualify as it was aired on t.v. Still loved it.
     
  16. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    Interesting how Star Wars made it as I've never considered it sci fi, more like romance-fantasy. Just because it's set in space does not make it sci fi.

    I'm also surprised the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" didn't make it.
     
  17. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I'm surprised no David Cronenberg made the list. While it is not generally classified as "sci-fi", few films explore the relationship between mankind and technology as thought
    fully as Crash.
     
  18. jian

    jian Agent

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    Interesting list. I am rather surprised their #1 is Blade Runner. I would've guess 2001 would've been on their top. No Star Trek movies?
     
  19. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [Walter Peck Mode] And exactly what.. are you a scientist of.. Dave? [/Walter Peck Mode] [​IMG]
     
  20. Daniel J.S.

    Daniel J.S. Stunt Coordinator

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    I feel I must protest the disparaging remarks about Tarkovsky's Solaris: it may be glacially slow paced but I find it anything but boring. The pacing gives us time to ruminate on what we are seeing; this film doesn't rely on considering meaning after the fact (although this occurs as well). Our interpretations are formed as we watch. The scenes on Earth convey a sense of utter emotional devastation and while the scenes on the station may not contain suspense as we would define it, there is a persistent sense of unease throughout. I also find "Hari"'s arc as she gradually realizes what she is and what her feelings are and her effect on Kris to be very involving. Her sacrifice for him at the end is actually quite touching. While it's not on the level of 2001, it is a worthwhile consideration of the nature of reality and love and humanities relationship with technology and the natural world.
     

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