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Blade Runner tops scientist poll


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#1 of 197 OFFLINE   Kachi Khatri

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Posted August 26 2004 - 04:24 AM

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 of 197 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:04 AM

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)
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#3 of 197 OFFLINE   MarcusUdeh

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:16 AM

Take The Matrix off and replace it with Total Recall
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#4 of 197 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:26 AM

Gattaca should be on that list.
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#5 of 197 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:30 AM

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.

Quote:
Gattaca should be on that list.


Without a doubt. A great, if not underrated film.

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#6 of 197 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:32 AM

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. Posted Image
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#7 of 197 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted August 26 2004 - 07:37 AM

An interesting list. I like how they only include the first two films in the Star Wars and Terminator series! Posted Image (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. Posted Image
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#8 of 197 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted August 26 2004 - 07:57 AM

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 of 197 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted August 26 2004 - 08:00 AM

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. Posted Image

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#10 of 197 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 26 2004 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
But I'm a bit surprised 'eminent world scientists' prefer 'androids on the rampage actioner'
You must not know many scientists Posted Image 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 Posted Image

#11 of 197 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted August 26 2004 - 08:10 AM

Quote:
A picky point: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep is a novel, not a short story

Personally I would describe it as a "large novella", smaller than a standard novel yet bigger than a standard novella.
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#12 of 197 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:12 AM

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. Posted Image
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#13 of 197 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:16 AM

Quote:
You know, I'm a scientist

Rocket? Posted Image
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#14 of 197 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:24 AM

Quote:
And I would have taken out 'cure for insomnia' Solaris and replaced it with the 50's 'super classic' Forbidden Planet.


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...

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#15 of 197 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:49 AM

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 Posted Image
The Lathe of Heaven (PBS)- wouldn't qualify as it was aired on t.v. Still loved it.

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#16 of 197 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted August 26 2004 - 09:49 AM

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 of 197 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted August 26 2004 - 10:18 AM

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 of 197 OFFLINE   jian

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Posted August 26 2004 - 10:25 AM

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 of 197 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted August 26 2004 - 10:27 AM

Quote:
I couldn't stay awake even if I wanted to...


Posted Image I made a couple of attempts to sit thru Solaris (1972) and both times I found myself drifting off, the 2nd time was particularly overpowering the matchsticks propping my eyes open snapped about 30mins in. Solaris should be sold at pharmacies next to bottles of Nightol.

Quote:
And I'm a scientist -- just not eminent


[Walter Peck Mode] And exactly what.. are you a scientist of.. Dave? [/Walter Peck Mode] Posted Image

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#20 of 197 OFFLINE   Daniel J.S.

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Posted August 26 2004 - 10:45 AM

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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