Bad Futures

Posted by skoons on October 15, 2010 

Check out my story in today's Weekender about the Bad Futures Film Festival, sponsored by Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities, that is playing this weekend at the State Theatre: http://www.centredaily.com/2010/10/15/2275072/visions-of-tomorrow-film-festival.html.

Needless to say, I think this is an awesome film festival and I encourage everyone to try to see at least one of the films. I saw the director's cut of "Blade Runner" this afternoon. It was the first time I had ever seen the entire film, and I was blown away. The cinematography and acting were superb, and the film touched on timeless themes, such as what it means to be truly human. No wonder why "Blade Runner" is widely considered to be one of the finest films ever made. I think that the ambiguity of the film is what makes it compelling, which is why I prefer the question of whether Deckard is human or a replicant to be left open for interpretation. I don't think that Deckard needs to be a replicant for the film to take on deeper meaning.

Michael Berube, chair of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and his fellow film festival committee members wisely avoided including the cheesy bad futures films like "Soylent Green" and "The Day After Tomorrow" in the festival. They wanted to show films that enlighten and entertain audiences rather than preach or scare the bejesus out of them. They selected classics like "2001: A Space Odyssey" and obscure yet intelligent films like "Code 46," which was directed by Michael Winterbottom and broadcast on the BBC several years ago. Berube joked before the screening of "Blade Runner" today that there are only about six people in the U.S. who know about "Code 46," and until a few months ago, he wasn't one of them. But Berube is very passionate about the film and almost managed to get Winterbottom to speak at the festival, although he couldn't make it due to scheduling conflicts.

I plan on attending the midnight screening of "A Clockwork Orange" tonight. Like "Blade Runner," I only saw parts of the film when I was a kid. People have told me it's a "messed-up" movie. Sounds like my kind of film.

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