Blindness, an artsy sci-fi thriller directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardner) and starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 14th. It's based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago and it sounds interesting, but from what I can tell from the trailer, I think I liked it better in 1962, when it was the low budget version of John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids.
I kid, of course. Obviously, there are no killer vegetables in Meirelles' film. In any case, the weekend is upon us and as usual things will be quiet around here until Monday. So while we wait, here's a little project to tide us all over -- Best Film Adaptation of a Pre-Existing Sci-Fi Short Story or Novel!!! My totally top of my head Top Five: 5. Solaris (1972) The Andrei Tarkovsky directed original, not the George Clooney remake, from the Stanislaw Lem novel of the same name. Lem claimed he didn't like the Tarkovsky version, but I think he was just being difficult. 4. The Invisible Man (1933) From the H.G. Wells novel, of course, and on balance perhaps director James Whale's most assured mix of terror and dark comedy.With a star-making performance by Claude Rains, whose face, ironically enough, isn't glimpsed until the very last scene. 3. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) From the short story by Harry Bates, originally appearing in the October 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. A remake with Keanu Reeves (whoa!) is supposed to be in the theaters in time for Christmas, but unless it features the original score by Bernard Herrmann I really don't get the point. 2. Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott's sci-fi noir, from Philip K. Dick's classic novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and still one of the most fully realized visions of a not too distant future ever committed to celluloid. It Could Only Happen in Hollywood: The producers actually asked Dick to write a novelization of the movie; the perennially strapped for cash scribbler pointed out (how politely we do not know) that he already written the book the film was based on, and suggested it be reprinted. And the number one, no question about, who are we kidding it's not even a contest is -- 1. The Thing (From Another World) (1951) The Howard Hawks' produced (and probably directed as well) original, not the splattery John Carpenter remake. Inspirational dialogue: "An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles." I don't know why, but the fact it's called La Chose (D'un Autre Monde) in France just cracks me up. Alrighty -- what would your choices be?