Well, that was a solstice. As noted, I took time off from the blog to make progress on some other things. Those things aren’t done yet (I’m making fine progress on them, thank you for asking), but it’s time for the Fritzes! Following are the candidates for the 2022 Fritz awards, recognizing excellence in sci-fi interfaces across the prior year.
Note: There are some movies that might have been nominated but were only released in cinemas in 2021, and as of the time of this post do not have a home streaming option. I have immunocompromised people in my family, a child too young to be vaccinated, I’m not an accelerationist, I ain’t famous enough for studios to send me Oscar-esque review copies, and the drive-in experience sucks for air. So these films—notably including the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home—were not considered. Sorry, but global pandemic not sorry. Still, I’m happy with what did make the cut.
These movies’ interfaces adhere to solid HCI principles and believable interactions. They engage us in the story world by being convincing. The nominees for Best Believable are Needle in a Timestack, Stowaway, and Swan Song.
These movies’ interfaces blow us away with wonderful visuals and the richness of their future vision. They engross us in the story world by being spectacular. The nominees for Best Narrative are The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Reminiscence, and The Matrix Resurrections.
Audience choice: Robot
It could be my bias from working on and teaching about AI, but I noticed a preponderance of interesting robots last year. So for this year there’s a new category of Audience Choice, and that’s for Robot! Look for an upcoming post with a link to vote on your favorite. The candidates are the unnamed bartender from Cosmic Sin (who gets maybe seconds of screen time, but is interesting nonetheless), Jeff from Finch, Eric and Deborahbot 5000 from The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Bubs from Space Sweepers, and Steve from the unsettling Settlers.
Audience choice: Movie
All of the movies nominated for other awards will be presented for an Audience Choice award. Watch this space for when the ballot is open. In the meantime, if like me you want to see all the candidates so you can be elated or outraged at results, start watching now.
The movies nominated for Best Interfaces manage the extraordinary challenge of being believable and helping to paint a picture of the world of the story. They advance the state of the art in telling stories with speculative technology. The nominees for Best Interfaces are Oxygen, Space Sweepers, and Voyagers.
In prior years I’ve done custom edits of the nominees’ interfaces, but those supercuts keep getting yoinked from YouTube despite obvious Fair Use, and I don’t have the time or willpower to fight it, so we’ll all have to make do with trailers (above) that don’t include interfaces plus individual posts with screenshots (coming soon). Thank the IP lawyers for that.
Winners will be announced near the end of March. And while I don’t have any idea how I’d find a single address to send physical awards to, I’d like to try for that this year.
As always, please remember that the award looks at the interfaces in the movies rather than the movies overall.