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Last Truly Original Genre Work You've Experienced?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy Talk' started by Kevin, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    With a lot of TV & movies that seem to be just reworkings of the same ideas, and novels that share common traits, what was the last truly original genre work that you've experienced? Whether it was a book, TV show, movie, or art work, what was the last thing you were able to experience that that was something truly original that you never came across before? :coffee:
     
  2. Acclamator

    Acclamator Ensign

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    Indeed, when Im watching some "new" movies, I have feeling like "Where did I saw it?". They might be interesting, but, general idea not original.
    However, I liked movie "Inception". At leas, I can't say right away, where did I saw something like that.
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    I have not seen Inception yet! :eek: I have it in my Netflix queue so it is on the To Watch list already though.
     
  4. Jetshroom

    Jetshroom Rocket Ranger

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    I guess it depends on the extent of 'original.' Because of course, if you're vague, there's nothing even slightly original. The more specific you get, the more original something seems. And of course, originality is no guarantee of quality.

    I think The Walking Dead (on TV) is exceptional. It's original for the medium, and it's a reasonably original take on the genre. (Being more about the humans than the Zombies) However, if you take a different view of originality, it's still just a bunch of people trying to survive against a horde of zombies, so not really original.

    As much as it burns my fingers to type this, Twilight is pretty original in it's take on vampires. But at the same time, it's a generic Vampire meets Girl meets Werewolf love triangle.
     
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    Walking Dead is a well scripted show based on a well written graphic novel. Is it good TV? Yes. Original concept? No.

    I'll just assume you need some sleep. :p

    None of which is original. Heck, in the Vampire<=>Human<=>Werewolf love triangle (granted, a weird convoluted triangle but still a triangle) category there was Underworld that came out a few years before the first Twilight book and even then Underworld faced accusations of being a little too similar to prior works.
     
  6. Jetshroom

    Jetshroom Rocket Ranger

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    That's exactly it, there is nothing that is completely original. Particularly if we're talking about high concepts. What matters isn't whether something is original any more, but whether or not it's done well enough that people ignore the lack of originality.

    Even when the concept is unique, story telling methods, formats and tropes are constantly re-used simply because they work. They're classic and they resonate with us. New ones DO get invented, and people hate them because they don't work. At this point, we're standing on the shoulders of the billions of creatives who came before us over the course of human history.

    Honestly, I don't think we're going to get much new base material until technology progresses to a new stage that is completely alien to our current point of view.

    On the subject of originality though, what is going on with all the reboots and remakes going on at the moment? That's taking lack of originality to new heights of madness. Go ahead, make a movie about a cyborg police officer trying to clean up a city of violent punk gangs, but it doesn't have to be a remake of Robocop.
     
  7. Acclamator

    Acclamator Ensign

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    Terminator captured by police, reprogrammed and redressed into police uniform. But who shall make such movie?

    And I agree, there aren't many things, which are indeed original, mainly, there are just old ideas which being putten on modern tracks. It's just like: Let's replace work robots with evil battledroids, romove buildings undergrounds, Mars replace with...Jupiter? Nope, there can't be anything interesting... Let's keep with Mars, add some greedy corporation, and something trendy. So, just add camera, and we have a movie.
     
  8. Mirelly

    Mirelly Mouthy Cow

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    The Matrix was the last truly original movie with an SF concept that I saw, although I had not previously read Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, I still haven't.

    I approached Inception with some interest, but found it a disappointingly lame trod down a road I first travelled with John Brunner's excellent 1964 novel Telepathist. Brunner was arguably one the last great SF innovators. The Shockwave Rider remains in my top 5 modern SF novels.
     
  9. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    It should be the other way around. How many times has somebody from NASA or other similar group been interviewed and they specifically mentioned Star Trek as an inspiration for them? Same with cell phones, video conferencing, and medical devices inspired by tricorders? Over 100 years ago the designer of what would become standard for modern submarines was inspired by Jules Verne, Goddard was fascinated with HG Wells, and today people are working on plasma barriers inspired by Star Wars. Speculative fiction serves as inspiration for reality, not a mirror of it.

    Speaking of RoboCop, have you see tne new version yet? (http://coolscifi.com/threads/robocop-2013.5744/#post-17701) They could have at least kept him silver & shiny. :(
     
  10. Jetshroom

    Jetshroom Rocket Ranger

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  11. Ken Jeavus

    Ken Jeavus Scout

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    Lack of originality is nothing new and I have a feeling there's no less originality today than long ago. It's just easier to produce nowadays! Look at ScyFy channel. Every other movie is basically a 50's style disaster flick. Studios must literally have a template video file or something to crank this junk out.

    If you do want to see something close to original though, check out the old silent movies. A lot of what you see today is just variations on themes they did in the silents. Buster Keaton for example was considered a pioneer in filmmaking and physical comedy. And WC Field, don't get me started! ;)
     
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    At least with the SyFy channel their B-movies are self aware and have garnered a number of fans who look forward to their monster creature movies so I think in that case the 50's style stories are intentional. The same goes for Asylum who make low-budget versions of big-budget films and they have fun doing it. If I was in a position to make a comfortable living working on campy B-movies, I'd definitely do it.

    Yes, I know, I am a bit of a contradiction... as much as want to see originality I also love watching a good B-movie with cheap special effects. :X3:

    Don't forget the granddaddy of sci-fi films, Metropolis. :)
     
  13. Ken Jeavus

    Ken Jeavus Scout

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    No, I love those 50's cheesey movies too. I don't see the current ones as intentionally trying to do the same thing, but instead just trying to make money. But I could be dead wrong. No big whoop :).

    Metropolis...yes! Forgot about that.
     
  14. Jack Mo

    Jack Mo Cadet

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    Hi a friend just posted that on my facebook!

    https://www.facebook.com/ReloadedFilms

    that looks amazing like a cool Ridley Scoot like Short film is coming up!

    What do you guys think?
    I guess they are making a classic sci fi in the Style of the first Alien MY absolute favorite!

    Cant wait to watch it!
     
  15. pointyearedbastard

    pointyearedbastard Brain in a jar.

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    Solomon seems to have gotten it right, guys; There is nothing new under the sun. Even the 'grandaddy', Metropolis, can be said to have simply taken a page or two from from the then widely distributed philosophies regarding the 'Uber-Man' by Frederick Nietzsche. (Siegal and Schuster, as well, by the way.)

    Still, there's just something that even yet seems fresh today about those old John Campbell and E.E. 'Doc' Smith and Victor Appleton stories from the 30's, 40's and 50's or the B-flicks of around the same time. And I still get a serious kick out of the turn-of-the-century scribblings of one Edgar rice Burroughs. Why, look what Roddenberry owes to that venerable old epic 'Forbidden Planet'. Guess I'll just keep taking it all on a case-by-case basis and be grateful that there's so much material out there to choose from. Remember when the only sci-fi games in town were either Wells or Verne? Neither do I.
     
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    I was a Doc Savage fan myself. :D In the 70's I had a set of reprinted books chronicling the Doc Savage adventures; wish I knew where they were now. :(

    For those not familiar with Doc Savage, just imagine what Buckaroo Banzai's grandfather may have been like in the early 20th century.
     
  17. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    I'm going with the notion that are no original ideas...just original ways of presenting the old ideas.
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

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    But even those progenitor old ideas had a spark that came from somewhere. In a 100 years from now, what will be considered the old ideas of today? Will there even be any?
     
  19. pointyearedbastard

    pointyearedbastard Brain in a jar.

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    Interesting point, Kevin, always assuming that anyone is left in a hundred years to ponder the question.

    By the way, I just rented 'Idiocracy" from Amazon Prime because several of you had mentioned it. You guys owe me $2.99.;):confused::p:censored::LOL:
     
  20. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

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    Should have watched it on Spike (or was it Comedy Central, I can't recall) for free...you definitely got ripped off.
     

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