A thrilling blend of sci-fi and noir, with a liberal dash of time paradoxes and a smidgen of action thrills for good measure, Australian-made movie Predestination is a unique mind-blower. Written and directed by Brisbane-based brothers Peter and Michael Spierig, the film was adapted from the Robert A. Heinlein short story All You Zombies.
We chatted to the Spierig brothers and asked them which sci-fi movies have most influenced and inspired them across the years:
1. Blade Runner (1982)
Peter: Visually, Blade Runner is a masterpiece. It’s a film with a noir detective aspect, plus it’s also about identity and it’s a love story; there are just so many things within it that are open to interpretation.
Michael: It's a film that really redefined the sci-fi genre – no film had quite been done in that way before. It was a really tactile movie, and a detective story. It wasn’t fully appreciated when it was first released.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Peter: It’s extraordinary in its ideas and in its craft. Such a big idea film that’s done so beautifully, and it's a one-of-a-kind.
Michael: It’s all about the existential idea of what it means to be human.
3. Aliens (1986)
Peter: For me, I think Sigourney Weaver is brilliant in this. In Alien, which I love too, don’t get me wrong, she’s kind of a victim and she does take charge towards the end, but in Aliens it’s a classic hero story. At the same time, she also maintains the motherly aspect with Newt. It’s about family and a daughter. She was nominated for an Oscar for that film.
Michael: I think it’s James Cameron’s best film. I remember seeing it when I was very young and it’s scary as hell too. They take the first film and raise the stakes in the right way. It’s not just all spectacle, they do it in terms of the emotional.
4. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Peter: Empire is probably the most beautifully crafted film ever, in my opinion. I say that because the performances are great. It’s an old fashioned romance with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It’s also got a dark element to it, a great hero myth with what Luke Skywalker goes through and an amazing mentor character in a puppet that totally works.
Michael: The asteroid scene still blows my mind. I think it’s the best space sequence of any film ever in history. It’s also John Williams’ best score he’s ever done. It takes all the things he does brilliantly and puts it into this one movie. You can listen to that score alone and it’s an amazing piece of music.
5. Gattaca (1997)
Peter: Ethan is extraordinary in this one. We had long discussions with him about Gattaca while we were working on Predestination and he said something very interesting to us about it. He said, “I have this feeling about this actor, that he’s going to be a big star,” and that was Jude Law. Now he has the same feeling about his Predestination co-star Sarah Snook.
Predestination is now in cinemas. Click here to watch the trailer and read our review.