Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steampunk in the Movies

With Steampunk Spectacular a fading memory I thought it might be fun to share a little about Steampunk flavored movies to lessen our current Steampunk withdrawals. The Steampunk genre is not new to cinema. The theme of man vs. machine, the relationship of robots and mad scientists, social hierarchy issues, and the notion that the underdog should win. The idea of incorporating retro-futuristic Victorian-era stylings may have started with Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the Jules Verne novel by the same name.

A Partial List of Steampunk Style Films

The Golden Compass (2007)
Stardust (2007)
The Prestige (2006) - Pictures Featured Above
Perfect Creature (2006)
Van Helsing (2004)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Sea Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Hellboy (2004)
Around the World in 80 Days (1956 & 2004)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Treasure Planet (2002)
The Time Machine (2002)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Wild Wild West (1999)
Dark City (1998)

Steampunk films are gloriously visual. The stories, usually centered around magical journeys with a sci-fi slant, are populated by heroes, wicked scoundrels, lash-fluttering ingenues, mad scientists, and usually some out-of-control monster or machine. The settings are moody, with nineteenth-century details galore: dark and rainy cobblestone back alleys; buzzing and crackling secret laboratories; and ramshackle decks of pirated flying machines.

The costuming is grand, featuring the rich styling of Victorian fashion, accented with a post-apocalyptic tinker's assortment of found objects, weapons, and talismans.

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