Alphaville's way of focusing on the characters that inhabit an imagined world, rather than the world itself, is nearly peerless in sci-fi. Completely engrossing, and still fresh till this day.
M. Night Shyamalan’s fifth film follows a small rural family on the eve of an impending alien invasion. Recently widowed Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) must strain himself in order to keep it together when a crop circle appears in his farm. Although opinion is split on this one, I personally love it. By keeping the camera on the quiet farm as the biggest event in humanity is going on in the outside world, Shyamalan rises tension to a fever pitch. It also manages to keep its theme of faith and family intact through a sci-fi plot; even if that faith is sometimes placed in tin foil hats.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
This seminal sci-fi film takes a look at the state of humanity when an alien named Klaatu (Michael Rennie) asks for the ears of Earth’s leaders. The film asks a simple question; Would people be willing to set aside their differences if an alien race descended from a flying saucer? Or even more simply, will we ever set aside our differences?
Instantly influential, this movie reflected so well the world’s turn of the century paranoia. When Neo (Keanu Reeves) learns that the world he has always known is merely a computer program, the question of ‘Where do we end and the computers begin?’ could not be more apparent.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
This movie, with all it’s groundbreaking visual effects and the best story line of all the Star Wars, comes down to one thing: the battle of good verses evil. Here we see Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) locked in a lightsaber duel with his father Darth Vader (James Earl Jones). Hope I didn’t spoil anything for you
The themes of this movie are very close to many other dystopian futures: sterility, government oppression, and lack of identity. Here we see the main and titular character experiencing all of those. A must see for a fan of futuristic movies.
The main themes of Moon are arguably isolation, homesickness, and modern alienation; all of which are pictured above. The main character Sam Bell has to cope with himself (in a vary literal way) being on a completely different heavenly body. Also the painted lunar landscape act as a metaphor for what this film is, a peace of art.
Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Star Wars, THX 1138, and countless other Science Fiction films/music videos/comics/books/etc. owe much of their basis to this movie. Possibly just this single still.