As many readers of this blog know, I consider myself to be a fan of science fiction. I grew up watching the original Star Trek with my dad and hearing A Princess of Mars read out loud to me before bed. I remember pretending I was a Colonial Marine fighting off Aliens and Face Huggers in our backyard. In elementary school, I would watch the original Battlestar Galactica every Saturday, immediately following The A-Team. I have a very specific memory of when my dad sat me down and had me watch the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. I have been absolutely fascinated by Science Fiction for as long as I can remember.
Bearing that in mind, you can understand my embarrassment when I confess that there are some masterpieces of the genre that I have never seen. I was recently perusing the website of the American Film Institute and came upon the Top Ten lists by genre. Now before I proceed I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not agree with all of their choices. I do, however, think it means something to be chosen. There are movies that I do not think should have been included, and others that I feel were unjustly ignored. But my personal preferences aside, when the AFI lists the Top Ten Sci-Fi films it means something. And it means something else if I haven’t seen all of them.
Their list was as follows:
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial
- A Clockwork Orange
- The Day the Earth Stood Still
- Blade Runner
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
- Back to the Future
I have not seen three of those ten. I know; it’s horrible, and you don’t even know which ones yet. Are you ready for this? I have not seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I know. I know. I’m humiliated. How have I even been writing this blog? What right do I have to call myself a science fiction fan when I haven’t seen these cinematic masterpieces?
So, I am confessing this to you Internet. I have not seen three of the cornerstones my favorite genre of film is built upon. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say about…what? What’s that? You’re challenging me? Well, all right then. I accept your challenge, Internet. And I will ram it down your throat. I am going to watch all three of those films by November 9th. That’s two weeks. I am going to improve my level scholarship, as well as my own person, in the next two weeks by watching three movies. I realize the idea that I could improve my own person by watching three movies is itself an idea we could probably talk about at length. And maybe we will one day, but for now, know this: I think that it is possible to improve yourself through watching films. And I am going to do just that in the next two weeks by watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And then, on November 9th, I will prove to you how much my level of scholarship has grown through this exercise. I will also show you what a better person I am. You just wait for that. You will rue the day you challenged me Internet!