"The Canon: 50 Science Fiction Classics" is a collection of hundreds of still images from fifty of the greatest global science fiction films of all time. The films are organized in chronological order, beginning with science fiction classics from the silent era such as "Trip to the Moon" (Georges Melies, 1902, France) and "Metropolis" (Fritz Lang, 1927, Germany) and early science fiction horror films such as "Bride of Frankenstein" (James Whale, 1935, U.S.). Eight films have been selected from the 1950s, a decade which saw an explosion of interest in science fiction. With advances in nuclear technology and the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, the genre was filled with new speculation about nuclear radiation and space travel in such films as "Destination Moon" (Irving Pichel, 1950, U.S.) and "Godzilla" (Ishiro Honda, 1954, Japan). The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the evolution of science fiction films from low budget B-movies to large budget epic masterpieces of cinema such as "2001: A Space Odyssey" (Stanley Kubrick, 1968, U.S.) and "Solaris" (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972, Soviet Union). Films such as "Star Wars" (George Lucas, 1977, U.S.), "Star Trek" (Robert Wise, 1979, U.S.), and "Superman" (Richard Donner, 1978, U.S.) sparked entire franchises that had a huge effect on popular culture and remain relevant to this day. American science fiction cinema continued to evolve in the 1980s with such monumental films as "Blade Runner" (Ridley Scott, 1982), "Tron" (Steven Lisberger, 1982), "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" (Steven Spielberg, 1982), "The Terminator" (James Cameron, 1984) and "Back to the Future" (Robert Zemeckis, 1985). The 1990s saw an explosion of impressive new special effects and the advent of the computer generated image in such films as "Jurassic Park" (Steven Spielberg, 1993), "Contact" (Robert Zemeckis, 1997), and "The Matrix" (Wachowski Brothers, 1999). The 1980s and 1990s also saw the rise of Japanese animation as a respected film medium with the release of "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984), "Akira" (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988), and "Ghost in the Shell" (Mamoru Oshii, 1995). In the new millennium, science fiction continued to branch out into many subgenres and crossover into other genres. Science fiction met romantic comedy in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (Michel Gondry, 2004, U.S.) and "Safety Not Guaranteed" (Colin Trevorrow, 2012, U.S.). The release of "The Dark Knight" (Christopher Nolan, 2008, U.S./U.K.) took the superhero subgenre to a whole new level. Finally, advances in computer animation and special effects made blockbuster films like "Wall-E" (Andrew Stanton, 2008, U.S.), "Avatar" (James Cameron, 2009, U.S.), and "Inception" (Christopher Nolan, 2010, U.S./U.K.) possible. Today, science fiction continues to evolve and grow, with exciting new possibilities on the horizon.
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