This is science fiction.


This is science fiction.


This is not science fiction.

Andrei Tarkovsky, of course. I’ve been putting the finishing touches to my list of offbeat science-fiction films, and in doing so remembered that I’d posted these shots on Twitter some time ago. The annotated list is one of the longest things I’ve written for this site which I’ll be posting next week. Tarkovsky isn’t on it even though Stalker has long been a favourite film of mine. With a couple of exceptions I’ll be talking about the neglected and the overlooked. Watch this space.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Arena: Andrei Tarkovsky

3 thoughts on “SF/Not SF”

  1. Apropos science fiction, I stumbled across something last week that triggered recollect of the old failed imaginings of the future riff. Whatever the piece or the point of it was doesn’t matter. But, as I said, it triggered a thought: All the predictions of a disease-free future and instead we got a global pandemic in which here, in the US, the dominant political party, actually promoted the spread of the highly mutable virus and caused a shit ton of avoidable deaths.
    I’m such a hopeful schmuck sometimes.

  2. Yeah, although the thing about the future is that it sneaks up on you. We always notice the potential things that haven’t happened while not really noticing those that have because they’ve become so commonplace. I’ve long been fascinated by unforeseen consequences, and the whole Covid denial thing is a good example of this; people using the products of science (computers, etc) to spread their suspicion of science in the service of ideology. Science fiction tends to deal in broad strokes so you don’t always see developments being presented in the way they’d be treated in our world.

    As it happens, one of the films on my forthcoming list concerns a largely disease-free future but there are plenty of other fictional futures that have pandemics in them. There was even a dour BBC TV series in the 1970s, Survivors, about those left behind after the accidental release of a virus wipes out most of the world’s population.

  3. To clarify my point now that I’m more awake: Of course I’m aware of the dystopic genre. I was referring to more mainstream predictions which of course — maybe even understandably — focus on (or hallucinate about) novel and positive breakthroughs and not that some sort of disaster’s coming. (See, for example, the fairly sanguine predictions about the effects of essentially ignoring climate change even as the disastrous effects are apparently manifesting.) Of course, given the actual role of mainstream media, one shouldn’t be surprised.
    Still, I’m such a hopeful schmuck sometimes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *