Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film
December 2, 2002 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Gary Westfahl's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film is an attempt to do for SF film what David Thomson's brilliant "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" does for film in general - to provide a well informed and wholly subjective survey of the most important people who contributed to the field. The BESFF is very much a work in progress, and half the fun is seeing who author Gary Westfahl has chosen to include this month. His entries so far range from the obvious to the surprising to the deeply obscure. Always though, his witty and often compassionate pocket reviews of these carreers show how seriously he feels SF cinema should be taken, and by extension how betrayed he feels by those within the field who don't.
posted by thatwhichfalls (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
not to ignite the science fiction vs fantasy debate! and i know it's on sfsite (great site btw :) but shouldn't it really be Gary Westfahl's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Fantasy AND Horror Film? cuz like, for example, anthony quinn's film career hardly qualifies as anything approaching science fiction.
posted by kliuless at 8:37 AM on December 3, 2002

Anthony Quinn's life, on the other hand...
posted by y2karl at 8:57 AM on December 3, 2002

Great post, thatwhichfalls! I love the fact that he begins with Forry Ackerman (check out his "Aweird Winning" website). I look forward to following the growth of the dictionary.
posted by languagehat at 9:05 AM on December 3, 2002

Terrific post. I love it when people piss off Harlan.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:43 AM on December 3, 2002

Ha! Thanks, PST, that was a wonderful entry. Harlan's a classic case of someone who started out full of promise that he never fulfilled; he must realize that on some level, which is presumably one reason he's notoriously short-fused.

And where's The Last Dangerous Visions anyway?
posted by languagehat at 1:21 PM on December 3, 2002

I'm a little confused by why Westfahl would waste energy on an entry for Elvira before adding Ridley Scott, who directed the two greatest sci-fi films of all time...Blade Runner and Alien. And why bother with the secondary Star Trek characters before listing Gene Roddenberry, who did as much to influence the way we view science fiction on film as anyone on the list.

Otherwise...a cool resource.
posted by cyclopz at 2:36 PM on December 3, 2002

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