Monday, 4 April 2016

Unsung SF film

The number of definitions for “science fiction” is roughly equal to half the number of individuals who have read a science fiction book.  In other words, there are a lot of definitions.  Trying to pin down the precise definition is like polling a line-up at Starbucks on the perfect cup of coffee.  It occupies a lot of time at pubs and/or conventions.

For myself, I generally say it’s “the real world plus X”.  Sometimes “X” can be a clever little invention, an alien fleet descending from the sky or the real world plus 3000 years of accumulated history (ie: the future).  Of course, if “X” gets too whackadoodle, the book drifts into “fantasy”.

The “addition of a new invention and its effect on our real world” is a definition that borders on the axiomatic.  Naturally, just how radical that gizmo is results in bigger ripple-shocks in our world, but the basic framework is “new invention-gadget impacts people and their lives”.  I’m not saying this is the only definition of SF, but it is one of biggies.

Okay.  I don’t see anyone squirming in disagreement out there so far.  Let's proceed.

With that preamble digested, I present to you a movie that is an unsung (hee-hee) example of Science Fiction.  A movie many people greatly enjoy, not realizing they are watching that “weirdo SF stuff”.  A movie ignored when the other SF film classics of the 1950’s are ranked and discussed.

“Singing in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.  (1952)

The invention of the talking motion picture turns the lives of Our Heroes upside down, thoroughly rattles the industry (Hollywood) and goes on to alter our culture for a century and still counting.

How is that not science fiction?

Thank you for your attention.

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