HEADLINE – DOCS AND TALKS

HIGHLIGHT – FAMOUS MONSTER

“He was the original geek, the nerd zero from which every sci-fi or monster fan sprung deformed.” This is easily the best line in this bio of Forrest J. Ackerman and his 85-year love affair with science fiction. Ackerman, or Forry as he’s affectionately known, coined the word sci-fi and embraced the genre before it even had a name. As the playful uber-fan tells it, it all started when he picked the right set of grandparents. “One year they took me to 356 films and in one single day to seven movies. The minute I saw Phantom of the Opera, I was doomed. My grandparents realized the kind of movies I wanted to see.” Forry earned his rep as the ultimate sci-fi fanatic. His collection of props and movie memorabilia was once the largest in the world. He was for a time a literary agent to more than 200 fantasy and sci-fi writers including Isaac Asimov, Rod Serling and L. Ron Hubbard. His magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland was a huge success and made movie monsters part of pop culture. But best of all, when Forry attended the very first sci-fi convention in 1939, he dressed in a homemade costume based on his favourite film, Things to Come, starting a trend that persists to today. Add loads of film clips and shots of lurid fifties magazine cover art and you’ve got yourself a monstrously good tribute to an eccentric pioneer.

Wednesday, 9 p.m., Space