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Sci-Fi Around the Clock

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 25, 2007 7:32PM

One of our favorite writers J.G Ballard once wrote, “It is a curious paradox that almost all science fiction, however far removed in time and space, is really about the present day.” In no other medium is this quite so true as it is in film. We wouldn’t be the first to point out that watching Star Wars tells us a lot more about the year 1977 than it does about a galaxy far, far away.

2007_4JennyAgutterLogansRun.jpg Yesterday’s state-of-the-art is today’s anachronism. But for us, that makes watching a movie like Logan’s Run or Mad Max even more fun: peering into the past to see a future that never was. Seven feature films, various cartoons, serials, and trailers (including those for Logan's Run and Death Race 2000) will be on display May 5th at the Music Box as part of Movieside’s round-the-clock Sci-Fi Spectacular. The show starts at noon and runs continuously until 3 a.m. For a measly $16 you’re allowed to come and go as you please. That’s enough campy dystopia and futuristic action to satiate anyone’s appetite.

There are two distinct highlights of the festival. The first is a screening of the bona-fide classic The Day the Earth Stood Still with star Patricia Neal in attendance. Ms. Neal is an Oscar-winning actress who has appeared in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hud, and Cookie's Fortune; she was also married to Roald Dahl. That’s quite a coup for Movieside. But just as exciting is the inclusion of George Lucas’ original student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138 4EB. This version is very rarely shown, and unlike Lucas’ recent “director’s cut” of the resulting feature THX-1138 we’re guessing it doesn’t contain any newly-added cheesy CGI effects or other clumsy “improvements.”

Filmmaker Rusty Nails, who definitely knows a thing or two about the fantastic, will serve as the evening’s emcee. (Incidentally we’re rabidly anxious to see his George A. Romero documentary). Some of the festival’s details are pending, including a costume contest and prizes, so be sure to check out their site. We recommend snagging your tickets in advance. The future waits for no one.

photo of Jenny Agutter from Logan’s Run