Scalzi Meme  --  10/20/05

John Scalzi (author of The Old Man's War) has just published The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies. Although he discusses more than two hundred movies in his book, he also has a list the calls The Canon, fifty movies that he considers to be "the most significant" (some because of the quality of the movie, some because of the influence on others, etc.).

This has generated a lot of discussion and debate -- some of it in comments on his Web site and a lot in other people's blogs and Web journals. A meme has sprung up related to this: How many of these movies have I seen?

I must confess that as soon as I saw the list, I had to start counting up how many I had seen.

Here's the list -- with the ones I have seen in bold:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Bride of Frankenstein

Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Stil

Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet

Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)

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
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come

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)

So there you are... out of the list of fifty, I have not seen six:
Brother From Another Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Solaris (1972 version)
La Voyage Dans la Lune

I have seen parts of La Voyage Dans la Lune many times, but I have never seen the entire 14 minutes of this astonishing 1902 classic by Georges Méliès.

And, like everyone else, I am sure I can suggest changes in the list. For example, why list a dreary and boring film like Alphaville by the much over-rated Jean-Luc Godard while ignoring the brilliant (and entertaining) La Cité des Enfants Perdus?

Yes, obviously I have spent too much time watching science fiction movies. How about you? How many have you seen?

Scalzi's book will be on my next order from Amazon.

jimsjournal -- on the Web since September 26, 1996!

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