Space Case

If you like your science fiction smart, well written and more concerned with the nuances of humanity than ray guns and bug-eyed monsters, you’re probably already a fan of Serenity, showing tonight in the Ubisububi room in the basement of the Thin Man, 2015 East 17th Avenue. The 2005 film, arguably one of the best science-fiction movies of the decade, continued the story of the revolutionary science-fiction series Firefly, which was canceled after less than a season, and managed to resolve the two biggest plot lines of the series -- the origin of both River Tam’s strange abilities and the horrific subhuman Reavers – in a way that was both accessible to newcomers and satisfactory to die-hard fans.

That it was able to do so was a testament to the skill of creator Joss Whedon, known best for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Just as Whedon populated the campy horror-fantasy of Buffy with believable characters and true-to-life situations, he built Firefly and Serenity on the interactions of a likable, if flawed, troupe of characters who faced the same kind of struggles we all do: how to pay the bills, stay true to one’s self and not get ground up in the cogs of society. Only in space. And he did it without relying on most of the well-worn tropes of sci-fi -- no aliens, no robots, no time travel – which explains both the series’ failure to capture the imagination of mainstream audiences and its avid but tiny fan base.

Serenity starts at 9 p.m.; admission is free, but seating is limited. For more information, including a schedule of upcoming films, visit or call 303-320-7814.
Wed., July 8, 9 p.m., 2009


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