De l'imaginaire dans vos oreilles
I've been on a little bit of a kick regarding significant science-fiction films the last couple of weeks, and this week I'd like to come at it from a slightly different angle. As significant as a science-fiction film can be, it's rarely so in isolation: there are years that stick out as being important for the genre because two or more films cause a shift in how science-fiction film is seen by the public or by the industry. Below you'll find my list of the five years that changed science-fiction film, arranged by order of their importance.
Easily the most important year in science-fiction-film history -- and in film history, period -- because of (surprise) Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. I went on in detail about this a couple of weeks ago, but to recap quickly: aside from its massive popularity, it incorporated a large number of technical advances for which it was amply rewarded (the film won six Oscars, most in technical categories) and started a focus on back-end processes that continues to this day. It also cemented in Hollywood's mind the idea of the summer blockbuster. Effects-laden, merchandise-driven spectaculars have been a part of the film industry since the early days, but for better or worse this film pushed the category into overdrive.
Often overlooked in the wake of Star Wars, however, is another massively successful 1977 science-fiction film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, released late in the year. It confirmed that Star Wars' cocktail of special effects and science-fiction themes was not a fluke, and soon after every studio was looking for its own sci-fi spectacular to shove up on the screen.