Ever wondered what Terminator creator, James Cameron, likes to watch in his off-time?
Back in 2018 the talented writer / director teamed up with AMC for James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction (a six-part television series and book) which aimed to explore “the evolution of sci-fi from its origins as a small genre with a cult following to the blockbuster pop-cultural phenomenon we know today.“
The book (and series) include conversations with leading filmmakers, and James Cameron’s opinions on the Science Fiction genre.
You may be wondering why I’m bringing this up now… well, as the world is currently experiencing a pandemic, and we’re all stuck in a kind of strangely apocalyptic limbo – why don’t we take a look at what James Cameron might watch (when he isn’t in New Zealand making Avatar movies).
*The movies listed below were cited in the 2018 book: “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction”.
Jim’s recommended viewing begins with…
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick with a screenplay written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke.
The screenplay was inspired by Clarke’s 1951 short story “The Sentinel”.
Starring: Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.
The movie follows an expedition to Jupiter with the sentient computer ‘HAL 9000‘, which follows the discovery of an alien artifact affecting human evolution.
Directed by Fritz Lang, and written by Théa Von Harbou in collaboration with Lang.
Starring: Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge and Brigitte Helm.
Metroplis is set in a dystopian future, wherein the wealthy son of the city’s master must work to breakdown the class divide.
Blade Runner (1982)
Directed by Ridley Scott, and written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah and Edward James Olmos.
Set in the dystopian future of Los Angeles 2019, in which synthetic humans known as ‘replicants‘ are bio-engineered by the powerful ‘Tyrell Corporation‘ to work on space colonies – until a group of advanced replicants escape to Earth.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Written and directed by Steven Spielberg.
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, Cary Guffey, and François Truffaut.
A group of people attempt to contact alien intelligence.
Directed by Ridley Scott, written by Dan O’Bannon, and based on a story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett.
Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto.
The crew of the commercial space tug, ‘Nostromo‘, are abruptly awakened from stasis halfway through their journey home by a distress call; to encounter a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial.
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Directed by Fred M. Wilcox.
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen.
The crew of spacecraft travel to a distant planet to discover the fate of a group of scientists who were sent there decades earlier.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and based on Anthony Burgess‘ 1962 novel of the same name.
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Michael Tarn, James Marcus and Warren Clarke.
In a dystopian future England, a gang of antisocial delinquents embark upon a journey of ultraviolence and aversion therapy.
The Road Warrior (1981)
Directed by George Miller, this is the second installment in the Mad Max film series.
Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon George Wells, and Emil Minty.
Following the murder of his wife and young son, ‘Max‘ journey’s along the post-apocalyptic highways of the Australian outback, learning to survive against both the harsh environment, and the people he encounters.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and written by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling; loosely based on the 1963 French novel “La Planète des Singes” by Pierre Boulle.
Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison.
An astronaut crew lands on a strange planet in the distant future, in which apes have evolved into human-like creatures.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Directed by Robert Wise and written by Edmund H. North, based on the 1940 science fiction short story “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates.
Starring: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier and Lock Martin.
An extra-terrestrial visitor to Earth brings with it a warning for humanity.
The Matrix (1999)
Written and directed by the Wachowskis.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.
Neo, a computer hacker, believes that an elusive figure known as ‘Morpheus‘, can tell him about the Matrix.
Star Wars (1977)
Written and directed by George Lucas.
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness.
Princess Leia is captured and held hostage by the Imperial forces, under orders from Darth Vader, in an effort to crush the rebellion against the galactic Empire.
Have you seen all of James Cameron’s favorite science fiction movies?
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