Techland Screening Room: Time to Set the Netflix Queue

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Every Thursday, the Techland Screening Room digs deep in an attempt to appreciate one of the 50 most important sci-fi titles of cinema’s first century. When we’re not analyzing the films, we’re announcing the next title in the series. We welcome your thoughts, insights, grumblings and epiphanies.

Welcome to the inaugural Techland Screening Room post. To bring you up to speed: I’ve marked out the 50 most important sci-fi movies of all time, and every other week, we’ll be taking a close look at what makes these works so great.

Ideally, we’d love to hear your thoughts too: Our goal is to spark a vigorous dialogue and debate about what constitutes a great sci-fi spectacle. Think of this as a film club, a film appreciation course, and a drunken debate, all rolled into one. Who knows, maybe we’ll even learn a thing or two about our favorite stories, characters and filmmakers in the process.

To inaugurate this series, I wanted to pick one of the titles from our list of the five most underrated sci-fi movie masterpieces. These are the great unsung classics – the films that truly deserved better. So let’s start right off the bat with what I consider to be perhaps the most underrated sci-fi film ever released. It’s called Primer, you can stream it instantly via Netflix, or you can probably find it in any discount DVD bin at your local video store.

It’s one of the smartest films that no one has seen – also probably the most believable tale of time travel I’ve encountered.

So Primer. That’s your assignment. Next Thursday, I’ll post my in-depth review and analysis – and also a bit of information about the film’s production and creators. You should set your Netflix queue too. And tell your friends.

And log on ready to parse the brilliance of Shane Carruth’s screenplay. Let’s get the debate boiling; I’d love to hear what you all have to say.