“She” and 9 Other Futuristic Sci-Fi Movies You Must Watch

A retrospective outlook refers to visions of what the future might look like that were produced in an earlier era. But, in our meta-modern world, the idea of ​​retrofuturism expands to also include modern visions of the future, which have a distinctly retro vibe.


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No matter how you cut it, there’s often a palpable sense of nostalgia that runs through retro-futuristic films. Whether that nostalgia for a time that didn’t happen yet but seemed familiar, as shown in she hasor nostalgia for a time when our vision of the future was more tame and romantic, as we see in BarbarellaOne thing is for sure: Retro Future is having a moment.

“After Yang” (2021)

Team work after Yang

In a future where many kids have robot siblings of their own to keep them company or help them integrate into the world, Jake plays himself. Colin FarrellHe struggles desperately to fix his daughter’s malfunctioning robotic sister, Yang.

after that He has a distinct craving for the “old” way of doing things. The costumes and collection design are a fusion of mid-century design and Japanese influence. Jake works as a tea merchant, trying to preserve the ancient rituals surrounding tea that the rest of the world prefers to trade for convenience. after that Retro embodies not only Futurism in its look and feel, but also in its message and view of culture, rituals, and the importance of family.

“Escape from New York” (1981)

Kurt Russell as Plissken Snake in Escape from New York

In the distant future of 1997, Snake Plissken, a former soldier, plays the role of… Kurt Russelltasked with rescuing the US President, whose plane has crash-landed in the country’s maximum security prison: Manhattan Island.

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Escape from New YorkIt corresponds to the more traditional definition of retro-futurism. Made in the 80’s and 90’s, director John Carpenter The vision of the near future is bleak and filled with sci-fi technology and gadgets that look mediocre and dated by today’s standards. While not accurately predicting the future of technology, the film’s wireframe maps, located on the dashboard of the Snake Plissken glider, are an iconic image of 1980s sci-fi that demands to be seen.

“She” (2013)

Joaquin Phoenix in her movie

The film is set in Los Angeles in the near future, and is played by a lonely man named Theodore Twombly Joaquin Phoenix, downloads a new operating system to his phone, and quickly falls in love with it. Action as a romance first and a science fiction piece second, she has She is characterized by her love of beauty in a bygone era, and her vision of the future.

The romantic nature of the film plays a large role in its production design, costumes and, by extension, its retro future. In 1960s poppy colors, mid-century furniture, and a casual 50s outfit (hello, high-waisted pants), she has is an ambitious, if imperfect, vision of the future. Nostalgia of any kind can certainly play a role in a toxic cycle of obsessing over something that is no longer real or never was. In this sense, this love story about a man of flesh and blood in love with a chip-and-cable machine is a commentary on the future of the past as an example.

“The Lobster” (2015)

Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in The Lobster

After his wife leaves him for another man, he is played by David Colin Farrell He is sent to a hotel full of other bachelors, and they will all have to find a partner within 45 days lest they be turned into animals. crayfish She is many things at once, but she is completely unique. Part fantasy, part silly, and part sci-fi, this is just a movie Yorgos LanthimosManager Favorite And the Kill a sacred deer can make.

While more absurd than retro-futuristic, crayfish She definitely owes some of her success to her quirky, quirky, and generally old-fashioned style. Monotonous characters, strict business attire, and plenty of old-school “courtship” rituals harken back to a time when relationships were practical, transactional, and highly appropriate. While not quite a ’60s-inspired mood piece like Dreaming she hasor a futuristic action movie like Escape from New YorkAnd the crayfish It relies heavily on evocation of the past, and how it informs the audience to understand the future the film depicts.

Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda as Barbarella with her space gun

In the distant future, she played space traveler Barbarella Jane Fondathe President of Earth asked to travel across the galaxy and retrieve a deadly weapon that could cause mass destruction. Barbarella is a quintessential piece of retro-futurism and has many of the style’s hallmarks, including barely there female characters, a strong male gaze, cool but impractical predictions of future technology, and more color and hairspray than you can shake a stick at.

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The strongest visual motif in retro-futurism is certainly “future, by way of the sixties” and Barbarella This is in spades. With the space race, free love, and the moon landing defining the decade, it’s no surprise that visions of the future in the ’60s included Mars, space travel, and pretty people with very little clothing. Another common element of retrofuturism is its vision of the future as a utopia, rather than a dystopia. Dystopia has dominated modern science fiction for many years, and for this reason, Barbarella It looks like a refreshing throw in more ways than one.

Wall E (2008)

Wall-E looks at the sky

Hundreds of years in the future, a lone robot named WALL-E runs alone on a deserted planet Earth, cleaning up the trash the civilization left behind. His world changes when he falls in love with a reconnaissance robot named EVE and follows her across the galaxy. Wall-E To a large extent he uses his retro-futurism to make a statement about the price of nostalgia, and what is lost when one is so obsessed with the past that they cannot focus on their present or their future.

Wall-E It takes its themes of toxic nostalgia and looking back at the expense of looking forward and elegantly applies them to the film’s anti-environmental, anti-consumer message. Much like she hasthis movie is a great example of embracing the meta-side of retro-futurism and looking stargazing rather than navel gazing.

“Dune” (1984)

Jose Ferrer in the dunes

Set nearly 10,000 years in the future in the Arrakis Desert, the son of a Duke leads a group of indigenous Arrakis people in an uprising against the colonial powers that have dominated their homeland and carve out their lands in search of a powerful and desirable spice, called melange.

Before Denis Villeneuvethere was David Lynchone of the first to try to adapt Dune, which was previously considered unadaptable. Some might argue that it remained unadaptable after Lynch’s film debut, but say what you will about its quality, Lynch swung for the fences with his ambitious special effects. These influences are old and vintage, yet powerfully evoke the amusement’s vision of the future, creating the perfect ’80s time capsule.

“The Incredibles” (2004)

Incredibles family reunion

After living in secret due to a government mandate, a super-powered family is thrust onto the hero’s scene to save the day from a villain with a grudge. Although it was made in 2004, The Incredibles It is set in the 1960s and leans heavily on the chic mid-century Art Deco visions that were prominent during the time period.

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Although the film depicts the past rather than the present, it is clear that the past we look forward to is not our own. Instead, it’s an idealized past recalibrated to fulfill many of the tech fantasies of the time. With The IncrediblesManager Brad Bird It is basically a tribute to the coveted retro-futuristic world of the 60s to the era when it was at its heyday.

“Mars Attacks!” (1996)

Mars shoots a death ray

When Martians invade Earth and claim to “come in peace” they are taken at their word…until they destroy the entire US Congress. Comedy, Science Fiction, Satire, and Parody: Mars Attacks! Lots of paintings spinning.

Although it is set at the time of its making, the ’90s, Mars Attacks! Heavily influenced by the costumes, sets, and tropes of the 1950s. This ’50s influence is there for more than just an homage to the style of the time. Tim Burton The star-studded science fiction film is a parody of alien invasion and space films of the time, making it one of the few parodies of retro-futurism in film.

“Blade Runner” (1982)

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner

In the year 2019, artificial people, called replicants, are being used as the workforce for space colonies. When a faction of clones goes rogue, that’s the job of Rick Deckard, played by him Harrison Fordto track them down.

Blade Runner It has many layers of retro-futurism in it. It’s set in a time since then, and his vision of the future is officially retrograde by today’s standards. But, Blade Runner It’s also honed in a style that was retro by ’80s standards when the movie was made. Heavily inspired by film noir and hard-boiled detective stories, Blade Runner Unique in his view of his present, future and past.

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