July 14 in Sci-Fi History: Five Movies for Bastille Day

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Jul 14, 2017

Today is a big deal in France. July 14 marks Bastille Day, when (and this is an oversimplification) revolutionists, tired of their despot leaders creating widespread poverty while lining their own pockets, stormed the Bastille and turned the tide of the French Revolution.

And so let's honor them with five fairly important French sci-fi films, shall we?

Alphaville (1965)

It's dystopian fiction, it's film noir, it’s Jean-Luc Godard's sci-fi turn involving a secret agent who performs several weird missions in a world where showing any emotion can get you killed. SUPER French, but super fun.

La Jetee (1962)

Notable because it uses mostly still photos to tell the story, La Jetee is credited as being the inspiration for 12 Monkeys as a man is sent into the past after a global World War and basically realizes that a disturbing incident from his past ... was his own future.

Le Dernier Combat (1983)

Luc Besson's first feature film, the story takes place in a world where everyone has gone mute. Featuring only two words of dialogue in the film, Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) is a baffling black-and-white rabbit hole of an apocalypse. Highly recommended for big film nerds.

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Not only one of the earliest science-fiction movies, one of the earliest movies at all. In 1902, George Melies and his company produced this silent film that features a group of astronomers taking a trip to the moon and are attacked by moon people. They escape and come home. It runs about 20 minutes, which for the time was HUGE.

La Planete Sauvage (1973)

We'd heard of this one but only just watched it today. And it is stunning. Giant humans keep smaller humans on their planet as pets and there’s some great commentary on the tribes we collect around ourselves and on human nature in general. At 71 minutes, it's an easy watch and it's visually incredible.

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