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  1. What are some important/favorite sci-fi films from the last couple decades? I discuss this topic with Lev on our YT channel. Our top picks that we discuss in depth are: *The Matrix - It revolutionized the style of sci-fi films with its "bullet time" cinematography and serious tone. The degree of drama reached a philosophical level that concerned matters related more to mankind's relation to machines than to his nonexistent experience with deep space travel and aliens on other planets. *Ex Machina - a superior character study of three individuals isolated in a testing facility. It considers the deep questions of consciousness and motivations and purpose, from both a human and an android perspective. *Arrival - a movie about first contact with aliens who come to earth for an unknown purpose. It incorporates unusual notions of time and language, which are cleverly integrated into the plot and character development. The film relies on determinism to explain events, which I think is a negative, but I like its thought-provoking, introspective aesthetic and attempt to apply the scientific method to a close encounter of the third kind. *Looper - normally I don't like time travel movies, but this one stood out for me due to its mind-blowing story structure and appeal to free will. The characters are not bound to a predetermined fate, and the plot doesn't get bogged down by trying to explain the science of time travel. There's a time machine, it works, move on! Indeed the film isn't really about time travel, it's about breaking free from bad choices and consequences and realizing what's right. *Inception - a wild, psychological film about sharing dreams and trying to sort out fantasy from reality. This is a well-made film that explores the nature of concepts themselves, as the plot involves trying to implant an idea into someone's subconscious.