Finally, Some Solid Sci-Fi(?)

The Fountain - Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain

It looks like fans of serious, thought-provoking science-fiction will have cause to celebrate in the coming months. Several genre films are in the pipeline that, from all acounts, put the emphasis more on ideas than CGI, on characters and story than explosions and hackneyed dialog.

First is Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, which I’ve written about before. The new trailer was released today, and I’m even more intrigued and excited. While parts of it look like it ties into some cliched territory, and some of the dialog in the trailer has me wondering just where the film is heading philosophically, I’m no less entranced by the scope of the film, which looks even more epic than before. (If you can, make sure you watch the trailer in HD.)

Second is Children of Men, the new film from Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). If the recently released trailer is any indication, this looks like it could be a solid post-apocalyptic tale set in the not-too-distant future where women are no longer capable of bearing children.

Clive Owen, who is always worth watching, plays a former activist tasked with guarding a woman who is miraculously pregnant, and may be the salvation of the species. Of course, this being a post-apocalytpic world and all, he’s got to content with violent, bloodythirsty crowds, and so on.

Of course, these being trailers, who knows for sure. But these, along with A Scanner Darkly (which I’ve yet to see, maybe this weekend), does give me some hope that good, visionary, hard-edged sci-fi à la Blade Runner hasn’t totally died out in today’s post-Star Wars market.

The Fountain comes out October 13th, 2006. Children of Men comes out September 29th, 2006.