What happened to the old site?!
Well, it is quite embarrassing as a matter of fact. I had reviewed myself all the way from 1902 to 1956 at my old Scifist blog when I took a hiatus because of the stress of my day job. When I tried to log on again, I seemed to have lost all my login info and hadn’t really bothered to set up any recovery safeguards, and despite much effort wasn’t able to convince WordPress to let me reset my password. The only solution was to set up a new blog. But the bright side is that I can now make it even better! All the old reviews are still up, for the time being, though.
Why couldn’t you just continue from where you left off at the old blog?
Because sooner or later the old blog will be taken down. Plus, the whole point of Scifist is to have all films under one roof.
Are you actually going to review ALL sci-fi films in history?
The short answer is: Yes. The long answer: Well, there are a few caveats. For more on that, see the What is Scifist page.
Won’t that take, like, forever?
Actually, no. According to my calculations I should be up to “present day” in about 10-15 years.
Why do you do this?
Because it’s fun! I love research and I like to have long-term projects. And basically because I once looked for a site just like this when trying to research an article, and found that it didn’t exist.
Why science fiction films?
I actually wasn’t that big of a sci-fi nerd when I started this in my very late twenties (or was it early thirties?) I was, however, a big fan of The Rocky Horror Picture show, and was sent to review a stage production of Rocky Horror at the Turku City Theatre in Finland. I wanted to do a thorough job, and set about watching all the films that the show references. But then it hit me that many of the films are either based on books or themselves based on even older films. And to put the films into perspective, I had to watch other films that they drew inspiration from. And then the whole thing just snowballed and I found myself checking sci-fi references in the Epic of Gilgamesh and Arabian Nights. And then it was all downhill from there.
Where do you find all the films you review?
Well, let’s put it like this: the internet is full of movies, and I try the best I can to watch them as legally as possible. In many cases I buy a DVD or stream-on-demand.
What reference material do you use to find out about obscure films?
IMDb actually has a superb search function, which lets you search all films by genre and release date. I also use Wikipedia’s list as a second source. to catch things that may not have been tagged as sci-fi in IMDb. Google is great, and I’ve collected a small digital library on SF movies. Film historian Tom Weaver is my household god. I also try to search digital newspaper and magazine archives for old reviews.
I spotted a Yugoslavian science fiction movie from 1927 that you have missed. Can you review it?
Of course! Please drop me a line through the Contact page, and if I can find it, I will certainly review it!
And who are you, again?
My name is Janne Wass, and I’m a thirty-something journalist residing in Helsinki, Finland. When I’m not writing about sci-fi films I work as the editor for a monthly magazine called Ny Tid. I have a background in news and culture journalism and I have studied journalism and American studies at the University of Helsinki. I am a film geek, and also love theatre, photography, rock music, cabaret, squirrels, spiders, archives and politics. I am in the process of collecting a rather ambitious library of SF books and have in later years picked up book binding and book repair as a result of this. People often mistake me for a drummer in a metal band, and can usually never guess that I dabbled in folk dancing as a teen. I am a Swedish-speaking Finn.