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Podcast Episode 142: TCM 50 Must-See Sci-Fi Films

Author Sloan De Forest makes a list of movies that are out of this world

Photo caption:

Photo credit: MGM

Keir Dullea stars in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," one of the films that made the list of Sloan De Forest's new book, "TCM Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of This World."

Episode 142: TCM 50 Must-See Sci-Fi Films

Making film lists can be agony. What do you include, what do you leave off? Author Sloan De Forest talks about the challenges of compiling a list of films for her new book, "TCM Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out Of This World." The films range from "A Trip to the Moon" to "Arrival."

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Transcript

Author Sloan De Forest talks about the challenges and agonies of compiling a list of films for her new book, "TCM Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out Of This World."

Have you ever been asked to make a list of your favorite films? It’s agonizing. First, reducing your favorites down to a finite number is impossible and then how do you define favorite or best?

Author Sloan De Forest faced the task of coming up with a list of 50 must-see sci-fi films for a new book published by Turner Classic Movies. In her introduction she quotes Phil Hardy who called science fiction "the impossible genre" since it seems to defy precise definition.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" may fit everyone's definition whereas "Sleeper," "Brazil" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" might not. There are others who bristle at films such as "Star Wars" being included as sci-fi when it is more obviously an adventure fantasy. De Forest's list takes us from "A Trip to the Moon" to "Arrival" in order to chronicle the films that have made the biggest impact on audiences and filmmaking.

As with any list people will applaud some choices, criticize others and complain about what’s missing. But on a certain level that’s what a list like this just should do, it should start a conversation.

For this podcast, I will have a conversation with De Forest to determine what makes a must-see sci-fi film and what did and did not make her list.

De Forest will be in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore on May 18 if you want to question her yourself about the films that did and did not make the list.

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