Early Sci Fi… preparing for Hyperdrive

Hello Filmspotters!

Goodness me, I’m sorry that we have abandoned the blog for so long! We felt it was time to get back on track, ahead of our exciting autumn and winter season. There are lots of exciting screenings, workshops and projects coming up – so there will be lots to write about!

First off, we’re focussing on our upcoming Workshop at next week’s Hyperdrive Sci-Fi and Fantasy Festival at Hailsham Pavilion. We’re delighted to be working with this exciting festival for the first time this year. Its a fun festival where you can see what’s new from some of the fantastic up and coming talent in the world of sci-fi and fantasy film. International filmmakers will be showing off their latest productions, while raising money for two great charities: Demelza House Children’s Hospice and Smokey Paws.

At the festival, we’re running a workshop entitled La Doodle Dans La Lune – creating a ‘reimagined’ version of George Méliès’s innovative silent science fiction from 1902. Full details can be found on our website. In honour of this, we thought we’d re-launch the blog with five early sci-fi picks!

5. The Lost World (1925)

Based on the Arthur Conan Doyle book of the same name, ‘The Lost World’ is an extremely watchable and fun silent film. The stop motion animation by Willis O’Brien was a great influence on Ray Harryhausen, a hero of all here at Filmspot HQ! You can see the film is what is thought of as its most complete form at the above YouTube link, so put the kettle on and settle down for a treat.

4. Paris Qui Dort (1925)

An early comedy/ sci-fi crossover, the plot involves a mad scientist ‘freezing’ citizens of Paris with a magical ray. Rene Clair’s first film as Director, this charming tale is possibly the first time a film explored the premise of ‘what would you do if everything was frozen apart from you?’

3. 20,000 leagues under the sea (1916)

Thought to be the first feature length sci-fi film, Stuart Paton’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel was renowned for its very early underwater photography, which was shot by the pioneering Williamson Brothers. The entire film is on YouTube, but the quality is not great.

2. Metropolis (1927)

When somebody mentioned ‘silent sci-fi’, I think ‘Metropolis’ is the first film that would spring to most people’s minds – and with good reason. Reconstructed and restored in recent years, if you haven’t seen the most recent and most extensive cut of this film, I urge you to watch it. It is incredible, iconic and breathtaking.

1. La Voyage dans la Lune (1902)

Of course, we couldn’t resist rounding off our list with Georges Melies very early short. Melies is often referred to as the ‘father of sci-fi’. It is a beautifully rich and imaginative short film – and we can’t wait to see what visitors to Hailsham will create in response to it next Saturday!

Hope to see you at Hyperdrive!

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