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7 eclipse-themed movies to get you ready for the big solar event


By Dan Heching, CNN

(CNN) — A total solar eclipse is one of those rare, almost once-in-a-lifetime, primarily visual spectacles that must be seen to be believed.

What better way to get in the mood than by taking pleasure in another visual spectacle – the art of cinema – with these eclipse-themed movies?

The below list includes films that feature eclipse sequences, or those that are thematically connected to eclipses. Feast your eyes on this.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (1986 version)

Most likely the only movie musical to feature a song lyric with the words, “total eclipse of the sun,” this Frank Oz-directed cinematic confection starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin is the type of film that’s just as gleeful the more times you watch it. Moranis plays Seymour Krelborn, a down-on-his luck plant store salesman who finds a rather special, and lethal, sapling after an eclipse. The rest is a bloody good time.

’2001: A Space Odyssey’

One of the few early sci-fi entries that more than stands up a half century later, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” features one of the most iconic openings ever, set to the incredible tone poem “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss. So iconic, of course, that it was the inspiration for a prominent sequence in last year’s $1 billion blockbuster “Barbie.” Naturally, the first image in “2001’s” intro is a solar eclipse, which more than sets the epic tone. Far out.

‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

This third installment of the “Twilight” film franchise is a fantasy/romance epic so near and dear to Millennials’ hearts that it doesn’t even matter that the movie doesn’t technically have anything to do with an actual eclipse. The celestial event instead has a rather symbolic meaning as it pertains to a love triangle between a human (Kristen Stewart), a vampire (Robert Pattinson) and a werewolf (Taylor Lautner). If you’re looking for an otherworldly escape, this is the movie to sink your teeth into.

‘Fantasia’ (1940 version)

For those seeking a fix of nostalgia, the magical and varied vignettes of the first “Fantasia” from Disney are just the thing. The extended interlude set to Igor Stravinsky’s classical piece “The Rite of Spring” documents the inception of the universe and epic prehistory of the dinosaurs, before a total solar eclipse sets the ethereal scene for a series of violent earthquakes and tsunamis.

‘Pitch Black’

This thrilling Vin Diesel-starring creature feature had a simple premise – a crew stranded on a desolate planet encounters terrifying aliens that hunt and kill in the dark. Seems easy enough to just stay in the light… until a total eclipse blocks it all out – hence the movie’s title.

‘The Seventh Sign’

In this 1988 occult thriller, Demi Moore starred as a pregnant woman who begins to suspect she has something to do with the end of the world, portended by seven signs of biblical proportions. One of them is a total eclipse – as seen in the Book of Revelations, “the sun became black as sackcloth.” It takes place toward the end of the film, when things start to really go off the rails.

‘Dolores Claiborne’

In 1990, Kathy Bates appeared in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Misery,” winning a best actress Oscar. But five years later, she starred in an even better King adaptation, “Dolores Claiborne,” an engrossing murder-mystery featuring excellent supporting performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer and David Strathairn. The crown jewel of any eclipse movie watchlist, “Claiborne” builds up to an incredible eclipse sequence and is also chock full of deliciously quotable lines from brilliant character actress Judy Parfitt, like this one: “An accident, Dolores, can be an unhappy woman’s best friend…”

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Article Topic Follows: Entertainment

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