Saturday, August 28, 2004

Scientists vote "Blade Runner" best ever sci-fi film
Thu 26 August, 2004 11:00

LONDON (Reuters) - "Blade Runner", a bleak vision of the future set in Los Angeles, has been voted best sci-film of all time by a group of international scientists, according to a poll published by the Guardian newspaper on Thursday.

Stanley Kubrick's classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" was voted second, while Luke Skywalker's moral journey through "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" -- the first films in the Star Wars trilogy -- helped secure third equal spot.

"Blade Runner is the best film ever made," Dr. Stephen Minger, a stem cell biologist at King's College London, told the newspaper.

"It was so far ahead of it time and the whole premise of the story -- what is it to be human and who are we, where we come from? It's the age-old questions," he said.

The newspaper interviewed 56 eminent international scientists for the poll from fields as diverse as quantum physics and zoology.

In fourth position was "Alien", directed by Ridley Scott, in which a bloody creature bursting out of John Hurt's chest has become one of the most enduring images of modern cinema.

"Solaris", directed by Andrei Tarkovksy secured fifth position.

"The 1972 Solaris is perhaps the only film to address the limits of science set by our constrained human perceptions, categories and tendency to anthropomorphise," said physics professor Gregory Benford, from the University of California.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had his day made, finding himself in sixth position with "Terminator", released in 1984, and "T2:Judgement Day", released in 1991.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still", the tale of an alien landing in Washington to tell earthlings to live peacefully, secured seventh position while HG Wells' "War of the Worlds" came in at eighth.

"The Matrix", starring Keanu Reeves as Neo, a computer hacker who discovers the world he lives in might be artificially constructed, was voted ninth best sci-fi film.

In tenth position was Stephen Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", an ultimately positive reflection of what it will be like when aliens get here.

The poll also found that Isaac Asimov was the scientists' favourite author, followed by British writers John Wyndham and Fred Hoyle. STORY