Read this story about robots looking after children in Metro.

It is a good point and it is news that a futurologist said this.

And for some reason they refer to a 15 plus year old movie about a robot boy.

(Incidentally the only thing in this movie which I recall being in any way ground breaking for cinema was the idea sex robots, in this case Jude Law, would exist for women.)

In mu opinion it would have made more sense to refer to Issac Asimov’s short story Robbie which was the tale of a robot childminder first published in 1940 whom a child becomes attached to.

Exact same concept (AI is more Pinocchio) and 75+ years old.

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For a country whose modern (western) history is based on the now discredited legal concept of ‘terra nullius’ the idea of invasion must be a deep rooted cultural threat, with a twist of ironic karma.

‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ is an Aussie movie which examines just such an invasion.

Mixed in with some teenage coming of age and a decent nod to American 80s cold war paranoia fuelled movie ‘Red Dawn’.

With the invasion happening on Australia Day the overtures to the previous invasion of the continent are strong shadows throughout the film.

The film starts as a teenage adventure in the wild, but quickly becomes a tale of teenagers finding how far they will go to battle the invaders.

The movie is well crafted, balancing action with character progression.

It fits into the history of Australian cinema which is edgy, questioning and watchable – think ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, ”Walkabout’ or even ‘Two Hands or ‘Strange Planet’.

For some reason no one has made movies of the following sci fi source material (books or graphic novels) and in my humble opinion they really should as the material has hit movie written all over it.

Special effects have moved on so far, the difficulties of any of these could be overcome to make a spectacular film:

Tiger, Tiger by Alfred Bester – one of my favourite sci fi books of all time. A rip roaring rampage of revenge. Gully Foyle is left for dead in the opening salvos of a war between the inner and outer planets of the solar system. Oh and people can self teleport, which is a genius idea well used in this narrative. His path for revenge takes him across the solar system.

On the Flip Side by Nicholas Fisk – a story about people being able to step across to another dimension by the power of thought – and what the world left behind is like.

Neuromancer by Gibson – the novel which launched cyber punk is a delightful read from start to finish. And a cracking thriller which would make an epic cinematic experience.

Look to Windward by Iain M Banks – a simply beautiful novel with so much scope for some beautiful cinematography as the broad canvas of the Culture painted by Banks is played out across this enigmatic book. There is also a fabulous thriller plot which bounds along at a perfect pace for the narrative.

The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore – if you could skip over most of book one in the intro (like the first harry potter film skips half the book in about the opening 10 mins) and then cover book 2 and 3 in the actual movie. Book 2 of this graphic novel series is an interstellar cruise from the point of view of the waiting staff while book 3 is a sad tale of life in a universe where the only way to make money is join the army and wage war across the stars, a severally depressing view of war (which in the closing chapters borrows significantly from The Forever War by Joe Haldeman). Halo is also a feminist icon and a trailblazer in the representation of women in comic books.

If you can think of any other sci fi novels or graphic novels which should become movies please comment.

A film I blogged about some time ago now has a UK cinema release date – so those of us in the UK  may now get to see it. Hurrah!

Book trailers

January 11, 2011

What a genius idea – having a trailer for a book.

You could call them adverts, which is really what film trailers always have been. But since I always associate video adverts with TV, you can get away with the fluffy term.

Of course, with films you just cut a sequence of the best bits and get a voiceover artist. But with books you actually have to go through the creative process as you would do when making a soap power advert.

As you’d expect, some of the trailers are pretty good. Others, not so good.

If you see any good trailers let me know.

Animal Kingdom

October 11, 2010

I’ll let you in to a little secret.

I quite like Aussie cinema.

I know, I must be a bit of a weirdo.

But BMX Bikers, Emerald City are all a bit of fun (both feature the early career of a certain Nicole Kidman) – Picnic at Hanging Rock and Walkabout are a bit surreal and could do with a re-imagining, but are still pretty good movies all told.

Muriel’s Wedding is strangely lovely (and I still go thru phases of saying: “you’re terrible Muriel”) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert has some awesome cinematography in it.

Sample People is pretty good too, an ensemble melodrama, this time set in the Sydney club scene. And Kylie in a red wig somehow works for me.

While Strange Planet, despite being an (again) ensemble melodrama, is one of my top 10 movies of all time.

And one that has come out this year I’m really hoping to catch at some point – probably on DVD is Animal kingdom.

Nick Bryant, one of my fav bloggers wrote a column about it earlier this year (before his column got dominated by the Aussie election).

So check out Animal Kingdom (and maybe some of the others). When I get to see it I’ll post something about on this blog.

Why do I like Aussie cinema? I think because a lot of the time you get good movies but without all the Hollywood schmaltz.

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