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100 Years of Quietude: Sci-Fi That Broods

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Sep 09, 2013 | 7:00am EDT

Solaris, George Clooney20thCentFox/Everett Collection

Sci-fi definitely has its Emo side: bleak, solemn, and contemplative. Some trace it back to Hal, the moody mainframe from 2001, but it goes back as far as Fritz Lang's pioneering dystopic vision in Metropolis.

While we hold our breath for the release of Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón's hat tip to a morose future, here is a short list of seminal sci-fi buzzkills.

Solaris

Worshiper of esoterica Steven Soderbergh remade this somber Russian sci-fi classic. His version was even more pensive and sad, and 100 times more beautiful.

Melancholia

This profoundly grim tale proved Lars von Trier could loosen his grip on his dogma about film artifice without checking his misanthropy at the door. The result is excruciating, but oddly soulful.

Blade Runner

Lang's Metropolis resonates throughout Ridley Scott's masterwork about androids that are so alienated they think they're human. Like teenagers, only smarter.

The Road

Don't eat before you see this movie. And you won't want to eat after it. The Road might be the perfect diet.

Soylent Green

This cult film our cringeworthy future delivers the granddaddy of all twist endings. It would make a perfect double feature with The Road.  But you'll want to hold the popcorn.

More:
How Did Sci-Fi Become Such Big Business?
Hayao Miyazaki: 5 Fantastical Films
10 Things To Know About Peter Capaldi


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