Thursday, October 11, 2012

Looper vs. the Jetsons

I saw LOOPER recently (rollicking good fun until you go home and realize none of it makes sense… but Bruce Willis is great, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is solid once you get past his goofy make-up, Emily Blunt gamely tries to do a down-home accent, Piper Perabo is topless, and Jeff Daniels steals the movie) and a thought occurred to me.

Now first of all, I’m not a Sci-Fi fanboy. I like Sci-Fi (one of my all-time favorite books is SIRENS OF THE TITANS by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.) but I’m not geeked up on the genre. Still, give me a good Sci-Fi movie (THE TERMINATOR 1 & 2, ROAD WARRIOR, BLADE RUNNER, THE MATRIX, DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24 1/2 CENTURY) and I’m there.

But here’s the thing: When I was a kid growing up, my idea of the future was THE JETSONS. That’s what I projected. Everything would be ultra-modern. Homes looked like those glass and dome JFK terminals from the ‘60s, our transportation would be a cross between a whirlybird and a Toyota Camry. Velour jumpsuits would be the rage. I LOVE LUCY would still be playing of course, but on Channel 2357. Still, you get the idea – the world as if Hanna-Barbera or Steve Jobs designed it.

However, that’s not how most Sci-Fi filmmakers seem to picture the future. To them, here’s what the world will be like:

Burned out Detroit with everyone driving rusted out 1976 Chevys that haven’t been washed since 2037. The population is jammed into urban ghettos and no one has showered since FRIENDS went off the air. Add a CGI space cruiser flying through, a hologram billboard and you’ve got the world of tomorrow.

Everyone imagines an apocalyptic existence even if there’s been no nuclear war. I know Democrats envision this is what will happen if Romney is elected, but why do most Sci-Fi writers predict such a bleak view? Why will everyone dress like Steven Tyler? Will anyone in the future wear shorts? Once Bill Cosby dies will that be the last time any human being ever wears a sweater? How come food and shelter will be at such a premium but heavy dark eyeliner is so readily available that every future girl looks like a raccoon?

Will there be no more suburbs?   Has even San Diego gone bad?

Also, these post-apocalyptic landscapes are all controlled by evil mobsters, robots, the Government, computers and are all a metaphor for Nazi Germany.  We get it already.  Streets are patrolled by vicious goons always in black with howitzers or ray guns and sporting Robocop helmets. In some cases the hapless citizens try to rise up against them, but their tattered rags and battered 1965 hubcaps are no match against rocket launchers and vapor gamma rays.

There are always high concept conceits – time travel, time as currency, robot masters angry because WD-40 is running low – and that’s great. That’s what Sci-Fi is all about. I’m fine as long as they set up very clear rules and live by them, whatever they are. But what if – just once, just as a wacky experiment – our green efforts have helped reduce global warming, there’s still trash pick-up, and okay, maybe JETSONS fantasies die hard, but we drive/fly cars that fold up into briefcases?

I am sure this is the blog post that will get me banned from Comic-Con.

58 comments:

Zach said...

Patton Oswalt (or maybe @pattonoswalt) has a book touching on scifi boiling down to outlook of the author.

http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Spaceship-Wasteland-Patton-Oswalt/dp/1439149089

Shelia said...

Oh, Ken, you touched on my pet peeve about sci-fi movies: that they're all a vision of dystopia. I agree with you. Can't we have a future envisioned with something good? Didn't *any* of the current policies in place to reduce waste or save the earth work? Then again, I guess the establishment (whether flesh and blood government wonks or robots) is the default bad guy to push back against in the story.

Angel Jordan said...

Not speaking for all sci-fi, but in the specific case of Looper, for a thirty million dollar budget, I'd probably make my future dystopian rather than a Jeston-esque metropolis. From a pure film point of view, it's just far more expensive to create a fantastic future... obviously animation and video games don't have that restriction.

Eric said...

Someone should make a film of "Rainbow's End" by Vernor Vinge. It's an interesting vision of a recognizable future that's neither utopian or distopian, and in which the suburbs definitely still exist.

Carol said...

To be fair, Star Trek was invisioned as a future where we solved most of the world's problems, and had peace on Earth. Sure, we were fighting Klingons, but that hardly counts. There was no hunger, and no more racism (execpt on that planet with the black/white, white/black people).

Oh, Ken, did you ever see Time Chasers? Well, the MST3K version, anyway. It's great. Invisions BOTH futures, insofar as one can with a budget of about $30. :)

Dave Creek said...

These pessimistic visions of the future have infected print SF as well, and some people think it's why fantasy has become so popular at the expense of SF.

I, for one, prefer to write and read more optimistic visions, where we really do solve many of our basic problems with the proper use of technology and head out to the stars.

Oddly enough, that makes me a fan of a retro-future.

deanareeno said...

Specific to <Looper, Kansas in 2044 sure looked like a dystopian armpit (except for the farm, which looked like a farm), but China was all future-shiny and pleasant:

A pic of China in Looper



404 said...

I think the main reason why futures are envisioned as being so dark and negative is because to a lot people, those make for more interesting stories. Conflict abounds. Hoe can you have conflict when everything is perfect? I think it also has to go with the influences of those who are writing it now. I daresay most sci-fi writer types grew up with a healthy does Of Philip Dick, among others, who had pretty negative views of the future. So it's sort of a view that's been passed down. True, not everyone thought that way about the future, but still.

I was going to mention Star Trek as an exception to the rule, but someone already beat me to it.

Haven't seen Looper yet, but want to.

McAlvie said...

And why is there such a lightbulb shortage in the future? Even on the space vehicles, it's so dark and gloomy I suspect what the human race really needs to fear is never being able to see where you're going.

Pat Reeder said...

I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but I've read that the reason so many films set in the future look so bleak is the influence of "Blade Runner." Before that, the vision of the future tended to be clean and antiseptic, like "Star Trek," but "Blade Runner" posited the theory that everything was going to get worse, not better, and that just seems to make a lot more sense. Plus, you can save a lot of money on CGI if you can film your vision of the future in Detroit.

BTW, fans of sci fi sometimes talk about the legendary first public showing of "Blade Runner" to a preview audience in Dallas, where Harrison Ford was hiding under a hat in the back row. I was actually at that showing, since I was working in radio at the time and got free passes. I had no idea I was in the presence of a history-making event. Hell, I didn't even know I was in the presence of Harrison Ford. Thought it was a pretty movie and promptly forgot all about it, which come to think of it, was also my reaction to "Star Wars." I must not have an inner geek.

HourOfLead said...

So glad you had a take on this movie, too. I also saw it. It was a pretty good movie with some massive plot holes if you get obsessive, like I do.

Your best observation, I think, is on the eyeliner. In my review, I question shopping carts. Why are there so many broken down shopping carts being pushed around?

http://soulsuckingapathy.blogspot.com/2012/10/looper-algebra-depressing-future-child.html

tb said...

Besides, "Idiocracy" is our real future anyways

gottacook said...

Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan might make a good movie - it was once described as "reads like an exceptionally sunny Philip K. Dick novel" (accurately, I think) by British SF writer and critic Brian Aldiss, who wrote the short story that ended up as the seed of the Spielberg-by-way-of-Kubrick movie A.I.

One of Dick's best-known novels, The Man in the High Castle, doesn't take place in the future at all, but in an alternate present (1962) in which the Allies lost the Second World War. Terrific book but hard to summarize briefly. It was supposed to be the basis for a Ridley Scott-produced BBC miniseries a few years ago, but there hasn't been any word of this for a while.

Mike said...

Here's a Friday question:
If someone living in 1912 could look ahead 100 years, would they be impressed or depressed by what they saw?
Technology has moved on, but has society?

Question Mark said...

Hey, the Jetsons lived in a pretty dystopian universe too. I forgot which comedian originally did this routine, but their point was that the planet had really gone to pot by the Jetsons' time...everyone had to live in elevated houses because the earth's surface was choked with smoke and clouds.

Question Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MikeN said...

Did you watch District 9?

There are no suburbs because that is the envisioned future. Cleveland is Ground Zero for redistributing income away from the suburbs towards the cities, and just blocking expansions.
http://www.nationalreview.com/author/56399/latest

Murray said...

@ Mike - Whether that 1912 individual was amazed or dismayed at 2012 society rather depends on his philosophical-political leanings. Some in the power structure back then would be heart-attack horrified that women vote, that the working class get a fair wage via unions and a black man could be president. Personally, I think we've improved a lot in a century. Pats on the back all around.

(I've been watching the show "Copper". While fiction, I suspect the casual racism, brutality and life depicted is more accurate than not)

Blaze said...

"Continuum" (successful first season done, on to season 2) depicts a world sixty years in the future that doesn't suck. Apparently in 2072, the corporations run things and elected governments are gone or the flimsiest of puppets. I certainly wouldn't care for that situation, but the glimpses we see of that world show it to be like today. The same mix of dirt and gleaming prosperity, only with some cool tech advancement and architecture.

cadavra said...

It's also worth noting that most sci-fi is a reflection if its era. THE JETSONS and STAR TREK were products of the generally upbeat tone of the early to mid-1960s. Most of the dystopian stuff has grown out of the nastiness and selfishness of the past 32 years.

Michael Stoffel said...

My goodness Ken, you got the geeks all stirred up!

Anonymous said...

(looks at Michael Stoffel) Damn. I thought this was a discussion for intelligent grown-ups. Who let the Honey Boo Boo fan in??

Brent said...

@ Carol,

Gene Roddenberry's original vision was that technology would free mankind to do wondrous things by taking care of the mundane stuff; food replicators instead of cooking, transporters instead of long trips, warp drive to enable us to reach and explore the stars.
The original series was campy for sure, but had a great deal of social impact. Roddenberry made sure of it with the scripts, using Sci-Fi to get his message past the network bigwigs.

When The Next Generation came around they needed a new enemy since the Klingons were now allies. The Ferengi were comic relief, and the Romulans were nowhere to be seen. After only a year or two Roddenberry's health began to decline. After a time he was executive producer in name only and the writing became darker. Enter The Borg. Now, technology wasn't just something that could enhance your life, but something that could turn on you and destroy you. Hardly what Roddenberry had championed.

D. McEwan said...

why do most Sci-Fi writers predict such a bleak view?

Because they are bright, intelligent writers who've looked honestly at the present and at history, and can see where we are clearly heading, especially if the Teabaggers gain more power. The Hungar Games is clearly set in an immediate post-Romnuts-Administration future. If Dubya had been allowed a third term, we'd have The Hungar Games now. 13 tay

D. McEwan said...

Ignore that "12 tay" at the end of my comment. That was me typing the WV in the wrong box and forgetting to remove it again before hitting "Publish". Well I ask you: would a robot type his WV in the wrong box? So there. I've prooved I'm not a robot.

D. McEwan said...

I haven't seen Looper (I avoid all movies with Bruce Willis in them as much as possible), but it seems to me that if I found out I would turn into Bruce Willis in the future, I wouldn't try to kill him; I'd just kill myself.

Johnny Walker said...

Interestingly, China's sci-fi tends to show a utopian vision of the future. It's a reflection of the societies mindset.

MrTact said...

Of course the vision of the future is grim. There's still a good chance Mitt Romney might win.

Oh and Eric? It's "Rainbows End." E.g. the sort of phrase to which one might reply "They do?"

Anonymous said...

Murray, lots of people then would have memories of blacks being elected Senator or governor. Chicago was less segregated then than now. And women were voting then. The 19th amendment allowed women to vote for Warren Harding in 1920. The unions were being set up already, which kept those blacks from taking jobs from whites.

Anonymous said...

Hunger Games is more like the Obama vision. 7 of the ten richest counties in America are in the DC area.

Anonymous said...

As for the Borg, in the early episodes, the Bord were quite different. Ordinary people who marauded technology.

Paul Duca said...

I read a statement saying that even the most dystopian sci-fi view of the future was, at its core, optimistic--that there WOULD be a future.

Gottacook...there was the novel "Fatherland" in the 1990's that became an HBO movie, with the same idea--a world where the Nazis dominate Europe and Russia, as America only fought Japan. It was about a policeman whose murder investigation exposed the secrets of "relocation" and "the Final Solution" that were in that reality still hidden. It was set in Berlin, 1964...all abuzz over the first diplomatic contact with the U.S. in two decades, a visit from President Kennedy--President Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

QuestionMark--there's an episode of the JETSONS that show the Sky Pad Apartments being raised about a rainstorm.

Anonymous said...

There'd be no problem getting young men to volunteer for military service in Gene Roddenberry's future, since all the women are attractive 18 to 25 years olds who wear velour microskirts.


B Smith

gottacook said...

Paul Duca: Yes, I'm familiar with Fatherland and have seen the well-done TV movie adaptation (originally for HBO) starring Rutger Hauer; there's also SS-GB by Len Deighton. The general idea is a strong enough basis for a story that all kinds of alternate-history fiction have arisen from it; one I like is the 1992 Harry Turtledove short story "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" (later expanded into a novel I haven't read) about Jews secretly living in Nazi Berlin, circa 2010, by passing as Aryans.

Whether anyone before Dick (in 1962) used the idea as the basis for a story or novel, I don't know. He might have been the first. There are excerpts of a novel-within-a-novel that some of the characters read, one in which Germany and Japan lost the war. Not only that: One of the main characters (a Japanese trade mission official in occupied San Francisco), in an episode of psychic distress, briefly finds himself in our own world. So it's a Dickian novel indeed, but without the usual SF trappings.

gottacook said...

Anonymous #3: What does the fact that "7 of the ten richest counties in America are in the DC area" have to do with Obama? Do you really think those counties attained that rank in just the past three years?

(I live in one of them, and there is a great deal more income disparity than such a statistic would indicate, even though there are indeed lots of wealthy people in the county.)

Mike Shannon Drayer said...

No interest in Sci-fi, but damn, 2 great baseball games today...so far! VERY entertaining, but I want 2 more with thrilling finishes!

D. McEwan said...

Anonymous said...
Hunger Games is more like the Obama vision. 7 of the ten richest counties in America are in the DC area.

Anonymous said...
As for the Borg, in the early episodes, the Bord were quite different. Ordinary people who marauded technology.


Wow, Anonymous, two consecutive stupid posts. Obviously how "rich" a county near DCV is has NOTHING WHATEVER to do with Obama. (And are you "blaming" him for prosperity?) and The Borg were absolutely no different in the episode that introduced them than they were later on, so your knowledge of Star Trek is as absent as your knowledge of politics and economics.

It's OK to not know anything about Star Trek, but not if you're then going to make utterly mistaken remarks about them. As for knowing nothing of politics and the economy, that's appalling, but fairly typical of the Teabagger voters.

But then, what can we expect from someone who can't even spell their own name?

rchesson said...

Too many Philip Dick wantabees

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I always thought Terry Gilliam had the right idea about the future in movies like BRAZIL and TWELVE MONKEYS, where there's such a jumble of new and old things all mashed together the way they are for most people.

wg

Sebastian Peitsch said...

Friday question: why don't couples in comedy shows stay together?

It seems as though there are more Sci-Fi movies depicting a utopian future than comedy shows where the main leads get together early on and stay together. HIMYM right now is in the process of breaking up three couples for instance. And of course Friends comes to mind. Or Cheers. And Frasier.

(Sorry could not resist :-)

Cap'n Bob said...

I made the embarrassing mistake of saying "sci-fi" around some dedicated science fiction fans and was derided for my ignorance. "Sci-fi" is, they say, an abomination and reveals the speaker as a Mundane (another s-f term).

Johnny Walker said...

Bob: It seems using the term sci-fi is a great way to avoid such people, then. Happy to be called 'Mundane' if it means I don't have to converse with people like that! (And I consider myself a sci-fi fan.)

Storm said...

That's pretty much what it boils down to; either you have the dystopia that rips off either "Road Warrior" or "Blade Runner", depending on budget, or the more pleasant and hopeful view of "Star Trek", which I adore, but many see as antiseptic. (sigh) All my favourite movies came out in the summer of '82, what a time to be a young nerdgirl. I just go back and watch those most days.

"Sci-fi" as a term/word was created by the late great Forrest J Ackerman, THE greatest fanboy who EVER lived (it was a pun on "hi-fi"). Anyone who says they like science fiction and then reacts like that is, as they say in the Latin, a dorkus mallorkus.

D. McEwan: Good to have you back, darling, I'd started to worry about you. Tell Tallulah I'm dressing as Phyllis Diller for Halloween! A HA HAAAAAAA!

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy this blog. Just to add - sure the Jetsons are sci-fi in appearance but a kind of lazy one, just a gag-writers flipside to the Flintstones gag-writers stone-age. They belong firmly within the new, shiny early-to-mid 60s tv cartoons and sitcom trend of making everything easy and funny, including the supernatural/monsters (Addams Family, Munsters) the past (Flinstones, but there are others) Future (Jetsons, but time travel was in "Its About Time" and such short sitcoms) and celebrity (Beatles Cartoon forever changed that) and ideal rural Americana (rural and "hillbilly")
There was little difference. The days of Twilight Zone social drama with uncanny twist were replaced by the rise of the one unified sitcom world, palpable and dumbed down to the same jokes set-up between Catskills and Honeymooners. The next step is they mixed it obviously together (Flintstones go to the future, get the Addams Family as neighbors, Dick van Dyke has a visit from Chad and Jeremy or Peter and Gordon, I forget etc.) and finally a real TV sci fi begins with the hybrid Star Trek, which basically was a closet sitcom, dramedy like, very pop-culture, but now with real rules and principles that affected in sci fi values.

HourOfLead said...

From a Sci-Fi (that's right, mofos, sci-fi) perspective, I've been fascinated by George Lucas' opening to Star Wars:
"A long long time ago..."

Star Wars always seemed so futuristic, but that opening line, which I never considered as a kid, speaks volumes. In the big scheme of things, time is relative.

So, really, "futuristic" can be viewed as subjective if you allow for the possibility of life evolving elsewhere. (Sorry, creationists!)

For the record, I moved out of my mom's basement a long, long time ago and I've even kissed a girl, so don't judge me.

Jonathan Roth said...

Ken, you'd probably like the author David Brin's website/blog. He agrees with you that need more optimistic SF (and is writing some.)

MikeN said...

From Wikipedia

When first introduced, the Borg are said to be more interested in assimilating technology than people, roaming the universe as single-minded marauders that have assimilated starships, planets, and entire societies in order to collect new technology. They are discriminating in this area, finding certain races, for example the Kazon, to be technologically inferior and not worthy of assimilation.

Anonymous said...

A government centered economy with more wealth going to government employees.

cadavra said...

The fans have always disdained "sci-fi," but it makes more sense than the preferred term, "sf," which could stand for many other things, most obviously San Francisco.

icold said...

Sixties science fiction = shiny silver jumpsuits, current science fiction = black latex, and why is there always water dripping in spaceship interiors? Leaky roofs?

icold said...

"Sci-fi" is a painful pun on "hi-fi" invented by Forrest Ackerman in the 50s. How many people even know what hi-fi means now? Its too cutesy, but it's taken hold and that's that. I think people should start calling detective fiction "dick-fic" in response.

D. McEwan said...

"'Sci-fi' as a term/word was created by the late great Forrest J Ackerman, THE greatest fanboy who EVER lived (it was a pun on "hi-fi"). Anyone who says they like science fiction and then reacts like that is, as they say in the Latin, a dorkus mallorkus.

D. McEwan: Good to have you back, darling, I'd started to worry about you. Tell Tallulah I'm dressing as Phyllis Diller for Halloween! A HA HAAAAAAA!

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm"


Thanks, Storm. Computer woes, now fixed, kept me off the internet for most of September. If you check out her blog, you'll find Tallulah has an exciting announcement for her fans up now.

"Dorkus Malorkus" perhaps, but believe me, the term "Sci-Fi" is indeed held in VERY low esteem in science fiction fandom these days.

Ever meet Forry Ackerman? I did many, many times. I am grateful to him for sparking my interest (and, it sometimes seems, the interest of my entire generation) in fantasy, science-fiction, and especially classic horror movies, but oh my Dog, that man was dull. Conversation with Forry was surprisingly, sometimes excruciatingly, boring.

And if you didn't know he came up with "sci-fi" before meeting him, you'd know it by the time he left. I never had a conversation with him, nor heard him speak to others, privately or at podiums, when he didn't mention this "achievement." It was even on his stationary. I'm not joking. Disillusionment with Forry may have had as much to do with "sci-fi" falling into disfavor as the term Hi-Fi having long, long been obsolete. As Cadavra says, "sf" can mean way too much else.

ICOLD said...

I'm fond of old Forry -- sci-fi aside. I had a subscription to FAMOUS MONSTERS when I was a kid and all those great stills of (to me) ancient movies I'd never heard of really sparked my interest, although it was years until I could finally see METROPOLIS among others, but reading his articles in FM was a real chore even for an 8-year old which was apparently about the target audience.

Storm said...

How very odd; with all due respect, my milage has varied greatly. I've been going to cons in California for over 30 years, and I've never heard anyone have a problem with the term "sci-fi". In fact, I remember quite a few people being pissed off that the SciFi Channel to SyFy, because disrespected the community AND Forry. People still use/used the term, long after most recalled what "hi-fi" meant. (shrug) This is news to me, is all I'm sayin'. I'm going to a reunion con of old time original Comic Con founders next weekend (I'm half of the Disabled Services Dept.), and I shall endeavour to take a general poll; my curiosity is now piqued-- is it a generational thing, like the way Young Folk Today actually *enjoy* being called a "geek" and self-identify as such? Which still blows my mind; I am a NERD, I have never bitten the head off of a chicken, thank you. Not that I recall, anyway; the early 90's are a bit of a blur...

And yeah, he was a long-winded weirdo (who isn't?!), no one can deny that, but I adored Forry with a passion; he was one of the first people to ever dress up for a convention, so he will always have a place in my heart (As The Monarch said; I am not into cosPLAY, I am into cosBUSINESS!). I never had a chance to talk to him for more than a few moments at a time, or I'd have badgered him into telling me Bela stories. He was always a tireless self-promoter, to put it kindly, but to be fair, in the last 10 years or so of his life, as fandom grew acceptable (i.e., profitable) and popular, fewer and fewer of the young folk in fandom had any clue who he was. For whatever reason, however sad, he seemed determined to not be forgotten, dammit! Perhaps he was overzealous at times, and NO ONE HATES puns more than I do, which was all his FM "articles" consisted of, but like I said... I adored him.

(sigh) Break over, back to sewing--October is my busy month, I've got calluses on my fingers that would make Marge Simpson proud.

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

D. McEwan said...

Storm, if you had asked Forry to tell you Bela stories, he would have enumerated for you exactly how many times he, Forry, met Bela, when, maybe where (this would include Bela's funeral. I long ago lost count of how many times I heard Forry tell of his having been to Bela's funeral). He wouldn't actually tell you a word about what Bela said or did. All of Forry's stories were about Forry.

ICOLD, I too had a subscription to Famous Monsters when I was young. The problem with meeting Forry is that it happened (many times) when I was an adult, but Forry went on to his death talking to everyone at an 8 year-old level.

I remember the exact moment I became disillusioned with Forry. It was in 1968 at a science-fiction conference where he, Norman Spinrad and others spoke. Forry, when he spoke, was waxing rhapsodic over the newly-released Planet of the Apes, a movie that I, then 18, found entertaining but silly and marred by having Heston in it. I riased my hand and asked him what he thought about 2001: A Space Oddyssey, which was also newly-released. Forry made a face of distaste, said something to the effect that "It's a mess, but Planet of the Apes..." That was the moment I realized that I'd outgrown Forry.

Not that Forry was alone is not liking 2001. Ray Bradbury (a BUSH voter!) hated it. And in a terrific new book I just read called The ME Generation...By Me a writer named Ken Levine (Who is not a Bush voter) called it "thunderously dull," and added that he still stands by that opinion today.

Me? I think it's a masterpiece, and I've never been bored any of the dozens and dozens of times I've seen it, even the times I wasn't stoned. My DVD of it is not dusty. And there's no way around the fact that it's 100% Heston free. Not all science-fiction has to be action-oriented. Contemplative works in science fiction also.

ICold said...

I think people who hate the term "sci-fi" (me included) are in a minority these days. Mostly older sorts who were fans of written science fiction first and other forms secondly. The battle is long over, we haters have lost. I don't lecture anyone who uses the term. It just makes me cringe a bit.

chuckcd said...

Because that is not entertaining.
No drama. Everything is great doesn't sell.
So, how do those rose colored glasses fit?

Storm said...

How funny... hearing about Bela's funeral would've been first on my list. ;)

"2001" is my Vulcan husband's All Time Favourite Film; he has seen it hundreds of times, while I have yet to make it through a single viewing without dozing off at some point. But! the last time I watched it was with him (on the day Sir Arthur died), and he was able to keep me awake by explaining what was supposed to be going on in those LONG periods of nothingness. What I enjoy tends to be more in the science-fantasy sorta realm (Don't make my brain hurt learning shit-- entertain me!), but I married a Hard Science Fiction Man; he started reading Clarke's books at age 7, so he dumbs the hardcore stuff down for me, while I explain to him how the costumes were made and why. Neither of us really cares, but hey, after 14 years together, even nerds run out of things to talk about.

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm