Steampunk Movie Top Ten – No. 2 & No. 1

Recently I polled active members of the Pandora Society’s Facebook group to nominate and vote upon their favorite “Steampunk” movie. Many films were nominated, and this week we presented those that were voted into the top ten by looking at two films per day finally we can reveal the Pandora Society’s top two favorite “Steampunk” films ever!

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No. 2 – Stardust

Stardust PosterWhen Neil Gaimen wrote the manuscript for Stardust he tried to place himself in the position of a Victorian author penning a fable, which is why Gaimen wrote the first draft by hand . . . and the magic flowed from there.

The movie adaptation was the second film to be directed by Matthew Vaughn after his directorial debut with the fantastic London gangster movie Layer Cake; previously Vaughn had produced numerous other films such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, and went on to direct X-Men First Class. Overall the film’s narrative is driven by magic and myth, so what qualifies and inspires this movie to the be the second most favorite “Steampunk” film of the Pandora Society?

The adventure begins in Victorian England in a small town called Wall, named thus for an ancient wall that separates our world from a magical realm called Stormhold. The protagonist is Tristan Thorn, played by Charlie Cox, who dreams of a life beyond the confines of his small village and of marrying the beautiful yet spoilt Victoria, played by Sienna Miller (who was also in Layer Cake), but has no idea that he was actually born to a Stormhold princess after his father had taken a youthful trip across the wall. After promising to Victoria that he will retrieve a fallen star that landed on the other side of the wall, Tristan sets off on his adventure that will embroil him into the political power play of princes after the throne of Stormhold, the plots of witches seeking immortality, the company of airship pirates, and the arms of his real true love, a fallen star called Yvaine played by Claire Danes.

It is the “company of airship pirates” that clearly injects the Steampunk element into this story, and Robert De Nero as the infamous Captain Shakespeare manages to steal the show with his performance. Shakespeare and his crew harvest electricity from storm clouds by flying a ship that is tethered beneath a dirigible balloon, and the crew even come equipped with the Steampunk standard accessory . . . goggles! Of the vast array of characters encountered in the film it is this motley crew of airship rouges who provide much of the memorable humor and win the hearts of the audience.

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No. 1 – The Adventures of Baron Manuchausen

The Adventures of Baron Manuchausen PosterIn 1988, the man who previously brought us Monty Python and the Holy Grail (plus all the animation in the Monty Python television show), Time Bandits, and Brazil, came the tale known as The Adventures of Baron Manuchausen, “An account of Baron Munchausen’s supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.” (imdb.com). The film was a box office disaster, only taking $597,400 in the US for its opening weekend, and grossing $8,083,123, making a loss of $38,546,877 based on America markets, but despite that it received four Oscar nominations and was picked as the Number One Steampunk Movie by the active members of the Pandora Society.

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And there you have The Pandora Society’s Top Ten List of Steampunk Movies, want to start from the beginning?

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