New Cli-Fi: Genre Expands as Vision Takes Hold

October 25, 2014

One more thing for science-denying politicians to contend with. As climate change becomes more obvious to the public at large, popular entertainment begins to reflect our shared experience, expectations, and fears.

I’ve posted about Cli-Fi as an emerging genre – upcoming movies like “Interstellar” (apparently) integrate climate change as an essential plot element.  Snowpiercer has gotten a fair amount of press.

Here are some I had not known about.
Above: The Young Ones –  with Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning.  I’ll see this one for Michael Shannon alone. This guy is the new De Niro – for lack of a better comparison. If you have not seen “Take Shelter”, its a performance you won’t forget, with a creepy climate subtext.

Entertain This:

After we used the term “cli-fi” in a post the other day to describe the growing sub-genre of dystopian sci-fi movies focused on the effects of climate change, we heard from climate activist Dan Bloom on Twitter, who told us that he coined that catchy term!

There are finally enough cli-fi films being made that Bloom says he is working to create an Oscars-type award  to honor and draw attention to the top movies in the genre. By top movies, he means “most engaging and meaningful” as cli-fi cinema, Bloom says via email from Taiwan, where he’s lived since 1996.

Bloom’s Cli Fi Movie Awards, nicknamed the Cliffies, are taking nominations from now until Dec. 31. The nominations will be announced on Jan. 1, and winners will be named in 10 categories on Feb. 15, 2015. He says he’s assembling a jury of film studies professors, academics and sci-fi novelists to choose the winners, and while there won’t be an awards event the first year, he hopes that will come in the future.

“The Cliffies are not about glitz or glamour or movie stars. They are about the very future  of our planet. Hollywood has a big role to play and indie movies, too,” he says, adding that the winners’ “statuette” will be a small blow-up globe, made in China.

Into the Storm

School buses, barns and airplanes are sent spinning into oblivion when an onslaught of tornadoes touches down. Special effects are skillfully wrought, scary and exciting. As a meteorologist in the movie  puts it, nothing has been quite the same since hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. “While the words “climate change” are never uttered — most likely for fear of turning off non-believers and limiting box office potential — the concept hangs over the movie like the darkest of clouds,” Puig notes.

The Rover

18 Responses to “New Cli-Fi: Genre Expands as Vision Takes Hold”

  1. witsendnj Says:

    Yikes it’s almost impossible to keep up with new entries for the Apocalypsi Library at the End of the World, both in fiction and science! Thanks for the list!

    from the Librarian

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Thank you for this terrific link. One of the best I’ve seen in a long time—-almost like opening a Christmas present.

      • witsendnj Says:

        Thanks dumboldguy! I was hoping to build a resource for veteran collapsitarians and especially for those who are just getting the first glimmers of our interconnected catastrophes.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I’ve been a “veteran collapsitarian” for 40+ years, and this is a terrific resource. All the interconnected catastrophes in one place—-I have been building such a list in the back of my head for some time, and had been thinking of putting it in writing for use with those who are getting ‘first glimmers”—-thank you for saving me the trouble. (I will direct them to the site)

          PS That’s the best play on Girl With Pearl Earring I’ve seen yet.

          • witsendnj Says:

            Feel free to send any suggestions you have – and for that matter if you are interested in being a curator I could use some help. I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s hard to keep up! also it badly needs organizing since other than being arranged by broad topic categories it’s a hodgepodge and has a bunch of placeholder links with no intro.

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