10.10 - Mamoru Oshii's Avalon at Video Game Art Gallery
08.15 - Future Shock (on 16mm), post-screening Q&A with Raul Benitez & Harrison Sherrod
Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave | 8pm | Free Admission
05.24 - LIGHTWORKS: The Films of Sky David, featuring a live score by Ben Van Vlissingen
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan Street | 8pm | Free Admission
THE FUTURE IS A LIE. RECLAIM THE FUTURE.
As filmmaker Adam Curtis suggests in the overture to his timely documentary HyperNormalisation, the world we now inhabit is becoming increasingly surreal and alien. Events that once seemed unfathomable have become our sobering new reality. Instead of creating progress, it feels as if we're sliding backward into an antediluvian dark age, trapped in an intractable feedback loop, teetering on the brink of civilization's collapse. Despite all the handwringing, we seem utterly incapable of envisioning an alternative future.
Science fiction, once a force for imagining utopian social change, no longer appears capable of inventing pioneering futurities. Instead, mainstream sci-fi cinema and television has become a form of empty nostalgia (reboots of Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner); a harbinger of the impending apocalypse (Mad Max, Annihilation, WALL-E); or a satirical, postmodern reflection of our contemporary moment (Black Mirror, Her, The Lobster). The first step in overcoming this deadlock is imagining what might replace it. If mainstream science fiction continues to sell us narratives that perpetuate the status quo, then we must transcend the tropological signifiers of the genre in order to imagine a new frontier.
STRANGE DAYS is an experimental sci-fi screening series featuring cinema that exists outside the cultural hegemony. These films recapture the revolutionary, avant-garde spirit of science fiction and give us a new vernacular for interfacing with our contemporary extraterrestrial landscape. Our philosophy was formed in response to a collective inability to think progressively about the current problems that plague modern times, and threaten to render our future extinct. The gambit is that bleeding edge speculative stories can shake us from our paralysis and broaden the scope of what is possible. Thus, we conceptualize sci-fi not just as narratives with alien creatures, sleek spacecraft, and fantastic planets, but radical theorizations of everything from technology and the environment, to politics and the economy.