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  1.  (5409.1)
    ... but ultimately the plot was super shallow and trite once certain aspects of it are revealed.

    Once again, I don't think Moon is about the twist or reveal at all, it's about the consequences of that information and how someone would deal with it on every level. Which is why it happens in the first 20 minutes or so, so the rest of the movie can deal with the fallout of such a reveal; this isn't an M. Knight flick we're talking about. Then again, there are no exploding bugs or alien weaponry so maybe it's a pile of shit...
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2009
    @government spy - The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra definitely qualifies. I haven't seen it yet, but I know of it. It's one of those films that, by reputation, I'm not sure if I want to watch... I'm afraid it is too intentionally bad for me to actually enjoy at this point. Not that I don't enjoy some shoddy work now and then, but these days I tend to prefer unwitting shoddiness in the pursuit of sincerity, as opposed to arch shoddiness as comedy. So I'll like something like INfest Wisely, which is really quite awful in parts, because it is trying to be good and has good ideas under the often poor execution - while I'm afraid I'll hate Cadavra for being a well crafted deliberately shoddy film for laughs. I didn't always look at things this way, it's quite recent that I've lost my taste for ironic humor... but I do seem to have lost it.

    I'll back @Sonny up on Moon - it isn't about the story at all, which is deliberately simple. It is entirely about that character, and it manages to use science fiction as a method for examining a single personality at different stages of life simultaneously. To me it was about how circumstances and lived days can alter who a person is, and how self awareness of this process can't prevent changes, but can give a person some agency to guide how they change. I know if I met myself from 3 years ago we wouldn't get along very well. I wonder what I would do if I could objectively see who I was, or who I would become. How would that change the way I live my life? That's what Moon is about, and it was really well written and insightful in this.
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2009 edited

    Well wait, that's counter to how the movie is set up and unfolds. For a long long time the audience does not know if Sam is crazy or if he's got a clone. This is not resolved until much later in the film. Even the trailer presents the film as such. You think you're going into see a movie about what isolation does to a person, and then BAM OH HE'S A CLONE WOOOOOOO SCI FI. Moon's message is so detached from the momentum and tone of the film that it does not work for me.

    Also hey! 2001 is one of my favorite films. My gripes with Moon have nothing to do with it's lack of explosions, I assure you.


    I just don't think it works as a cohesive experience for me. I feel like while yes, what you brought up is an interesting aspect of the film, it's buried under a rather boring and uninspired plot. It's all well and good that there's something going on under the surface, but it still exists in the confines of an immensely cliche SCI FI plot.

    Like I said, it's not a bad movie. I totally agree with your assessment Odbill, it is a rather redeeming quality. It is however, not the only quality, and it's that fact which keeps it from being an outstanding film for me. I definitely enjoyed aspects of it, the style of the film, and the nods to some older stuff but ultimately it just did not live up to all the hype for me.
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2009
  2.  (5409.5)
    A bit of a departure.

    Tales of Tomorrow was a very early (1951) US sf anthology show - so early it was broadcast live and at least some episodes were also performed as radio plays.

    I have to confess that while I may heard the name I was never really aware of this show until stomping upon it just now.

    Production values and sfx are minimal, the acting is generally pretty poor but the stories are actually pretty strong on the ones I've seen so far.

    It's also pretty damn bleak - two of the three episodes I've seen end with the destruction of the Earth.

    Well worth a watch - very lo-fi by today's standards but quite ambitious in terms of some of the ideas it tackles.
  3.  (5409.6)
    This episode of Tales of Tomorrow The Lost planet is really quite interesting and ahead of its time as it breaks the fourth wall with the actually production crew of ToT tryign to make sense of a strange broadcast that keeps overriding teir signal.

    It also has some self-referential and parody elements which were pretty rare in American popular culture prior to Mad magazine.

    Plus it stars Rod Steiger.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2009
  4.  (5409.8)
    Panic Attack is the kind of shit which inspires me and depresses the shit out of me. God, so much VFX and so little actual production and it all comes across so well (and thank god we saw some other city besides the main ones get the shit kicked out of it). I really think with Youtube and Vimeo and other such sites we will see a rise in short films (I have been saying for awhile YouTube is creating a generation of editors rather than directors, here is to hoping I am wrong).
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009

    A great 6 minute science fiction horror piece, sort of Kubrik in it's staging. Very nice work.

    There is a Vimeo Channel devoted to science fiction shorts - that's where I found this one, it's definitely worth a browse.

    BTW - @Draug - thanks for that link. I hadn't heard of Panic Attack, but it's stupendous!
    • CommentAuthorpatrickmm
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
    You may want to check out the webseries I've been working on, The Third Age, which was done on minimal budget, but hopefully matches the production values and thematic ambition of some of the shows here. Three episodes have been released so far, and you can check out the first here.

    It's an attempt to do a Kirby/Morrison style cosmic struggle story, but grounded in real world events and characters, hopefully blending the best of both elements. We don't have so many overt VFX, but there's a lot of visual elements and style. With cheap HD cameras and editing equipment, we'll probably see a lot more really interesting and experimental stuff coming out in the next few years.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
    @ patrickmm: Interesting I think I like it.
    • CommentAuthorpatrickmm
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
    @Draug Thanks man, keep checking in, we're putting up new episodes every Tuesday. There's 13 in the first season, then we've got a break, then 13 more to wrap it all up.
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2009
    Here's a couple of film festivals Bruce Sterling's blog linked to:

    European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation - looks like a network of science fiction, fantasy and horror film festivals held throughout Europe.

    Fantastic Fest - Austin Texas based festival. This looks truly cool, I'm so going to this in 2010.

    Neither of them are explicitly lo fi, but seem very lo fi friendly at first glance.
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2009
    I am compelled to add the short-but-beautiful SIMILO to this list!

    One of my favourites from recent years, the photography is absolutely stunning and the pacing works wonderfully. Shot on HDV with a 35mm lense adapter.

    The link above offers several versions for download, including English and Spanish editions, as well as a full DVD ISO.
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2009
    Look at this thing!:


    It's a Street Fighter style video game fighting movie with ridiculously high quality visuals. I had to read into the filmmaker's statements and blog posts a bit before posting it here because at first I thought this was some film studio sponsored spec short. But it isn't. The guy is a graduated film student, and it looks like he made this short as a proof of concept in an attempt to sell a feature length script to a studio.

    I didn't find the story that great, it's not a short to watch for innovative storytelling or the philosophical side of science fiction. It's mostly just eye candy. But it's very good eye candy! It looks way expensive, and I don't think it was.

    This may become one of my touchstone - "look what you can do for very little when you know what you're doing" examples.
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2010 edited
    These aren't full stories, they are just short clips by a guy on youtube going by the name The Faking Hoaxer. He seems to be taking still NASA photos, old Apollo and Space Shuttle footage, and manipulating them in photoshop and then mixing them in After Effects. There seems to be very little, if any 3D work in any of these, just incredibly skillfully manipulated and mixed found-photos and found footage. The results he is getting are astonishing:

    The Space Shuttle Destroyed! Aftermath in orbit:

    And my favorite:

    From Earth Orbit to Mars Orbit in the 1970s!:

    He's got a bunch on there!
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010 edited
    in 1993 spanish director Alex de la Iglesia made his first film called "ACCIÓN MUTANTE", i think it´s a good Lo Fi example. It´s Sci Fi with a lot of comedy & violence. Used to hate it but has aged so well that i love it more each day. Here is an extract from the film:

    Actually, this director is producing a "Sci Fi" serial for the Spanish Public Tv with a very low budget called "PLUTON BRB NERO", so linked to his first work...

    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2010
    I interviewed The Faking Hoaxer!

    The Lo Fi Sci Fi category on my blog should start filling up more frequently. I'm going to try mining many of the brilliant directions you have all pointed to in this thread, and seeing if I can get more interviews. It's incredibly fun talking to people who are figuring out clever ways to make films, mostly in pockets of individuality. I'm hoping I can get some momentum behind the notion that this can be a more networked sub-genre or scene - kind of a verite/dogme meets scifi movement.

    Check out the interview in that link, I think it came off ok!
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2010
    Great will check it out tomorrow.

    Star Wars vs. Star Trek
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2010
    Kunskapens pris - balladen om den vilsne vandraren (The price of knowledge - the ballad of the lost wanderer) is a film (short musical adventure sci-fi) based on the world of Mutant - Undergångens Arvtagare, a Swedish RPG. I haven't found any version with subtitles but I hope you will get something out of it nonetheless.
    Kunskapens pris balladen om den vilsne vandraren del 1
    (It's 3 parts)

    "Western science fiction set in the year 4000. Cowboys with laserguns and aliens from Mexico is on a hunt to get to the hidden treasure first. Lots of explosions, gunfights and beards. " + Lots and lots of Swedish accents =)
    No Law 4000