As one of its late-night offerings, the Logan Theater is screening Philip Kaufman’s remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In his capsule review, Dave Kehr considers the film inferior to its predecessor, writing, “Where Siegel was swift, compact, and efficient Kaufman tends to be slow, garrulous, and needlessly baroque.” I don’t necessarily disagree with Kehr’s assertion—Siegel was indeed a very economic director, perhaps his greatest virtue—but I think his characterization of Kaufman is somewhat off point. To my mind, Kaufman was able to unearth some of the more serious themes that are latent in Siegel’s film, bringing a sense of paranoia and isolation to the fore without abandoning the original’s tenacity. And besides, anybody who’s seen Fearless Frank couldn’t possibly categorize Kaufman as “baroque.”
Anyway, in honor of the film’s revival, I figured I’d share my favorite sci-fi films. With the recent 70mm screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey still lingering, I’ve found myself thinking about the genre a bit more than usual.