Buzz Skull . Welcome to the Brutal Buzz, I am IndieVisible and will be your host.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How "Gravity" Could Finally Redeem Science Fiction At The Oscars

In the Academy Awards’ 86-year history, only eight sci-fi films have been nominated for Best Picture, and none have won. But Gravity could break that losing streak, proving to Hollywood that the genre is worth taking seriously.

Sandra Bullock in Gravity.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Just about every movie genre has won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, from historical drama (Argo) to black-and-white silent romance (The Artist), war pictures (The Hurt Locker) to horror films (The Silence of the Lambs), fantasy epics (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) to toe-tapping musicals (Chicago), contemporary dramas (American Beauty) to period westerns (Unforgiven), unconventional comedies (Annie Hall) to crime thrillers (The Departed), Shakespeare adaptations (Hamlet) to sports flicks (Rocky), mysteries (In the Heat of the Night) to melodramas (Terms of Endearment), and even a family movie about the circus (The Greatest Show on Earth).

Just about every movie genre, that is, except science fiction — which is astounding. Because sci-fi is just about the most popular genre in filmmaking, accounting for as many as seven of the all-time top 10 grossing movies in the United States (if you count superhero films The Avengers, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises as sci-fi). Yet, in the 86-year history of the Academy Awards, only eight sci-fi films have ever been nominated for Oscars' top prize, and none of them have won.

This year, however, one sci-fi film has a genuine chance at breaking the genre's Oscar losing streak: Gravity.


Warner Bros. Pictures / Via

In one of the most competitive awards seasons ever, most Oscar prognosticators have pegged this year as a three-film race between Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and American Hustle. But unlike every other sci-fi film that has ever been nominated for Best Picture, Gravity has won two key awards that have served as the most reliable bellwethers for Oscar gold: the Director's Guild of America award for Alfonso Cuarón, and the Producer's Guild of America award (in an unprecedented tie with 12 Years a Slave). Only three films that won both the top PGA and DGA prizes did not go on to win the Best Picture Oscar: Brokeback Mountain, Saving Private Ryan, and Apollo 13. And to gild this lily a bit further, two of those films were not the top Oscar nominees of their respective years. But Gravity is, with 10 nominations (a tie with American Hustle). With all of these markers signifying the depth and passion of Gravity's support within the industry, the film is better positioned than any science fiction film before it to win Best Picture.

And to be clear, while Gravity embraces a harrowing sense of realism in its depiction of an inexperienced astronaut stranded in space after a catastrophic accident, scientists will tell you that the film's treatment of the laws of physics and rules of space flight push well past the boundaries of established fact — so Cuarón could better explore his film's "what if?" conceit. His interest in using the trappings of science for great storytelling is pretty much the definition of sci-fi.

But the history of how science fiction arrived at this moment at the Academy Awards is also, in a way, the history of our attitudes toward sci-fi over the last century, as we shifted from treating the genre as something inherently unserious — part of a deeply ingrained cultural snobbery that has marginalized devoted sci-fi fans as "geeks" and "nerds" separate from the mainstream — to one of genuine artistry, relevance, and importance. Today, science fiction isn't just the most popular movie genre. It may just point to the future of cinema itself.

View Entire List ›

via IFTTT Click Here to meet women in your area right now online!
Real Time Web Analytics