Tuesday, November 20, 2012

International SF in the Arisia films room

Scott "Kludge" Dorsey has run the Arisia Films Room for a very long time. And I do mean FILMS. Not video, not DVD -- 35mm and 16mm films, many of them hard to find, and selected with care. Because of Kludge, I saw Sleep Dealer (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804529/, http://sleepdealer.com/) a near-future sf film from Mexico which had limited if any distribution in the US. He's shown silent films and brought in an organist, even hunted down and shown works in Vitaphone format. He's even shown high-quality fan works, like the HP Lovecraft Society's Call of Cthulhu. He also gets cheesey B movies too, and art movies, and old NASA footage, so there's real variety in the schedule. And now he's bringing Baikonur (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117946382/), which I am cautiously yet still VERY excited to see. I'm hoping it will take a critical perspective on colonialism and ideas of progress and empower its protagonist. We shall see. To quote the present draft of the Arisia Films program: BAIKONUR "Alexander Asochkov plays the part of a space-obsessed young man in a Kazakh nomad tribe. His family roams the desert, scavenging debris left from space launches at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and he aids them by tracking them as they fall on his radio. The law says that "anything that drops from the sky we can keep" but when a beautiful French astronaut falls to earth in a space capsule there is a question. In the end, all of his greatest dreams come true, but not in the way he expected. Variety calls it a "cross-cultural fairy tale" and it is just that, a science fiction story happening today. Beautifully photographed and magnificently acted, this film hasn't got US distribution, so this is the only place you will ever see it. In 35mm, 1 hr 35 min. Russian with English subtitles. " Showing: Friday 6pm Saturday 12:30 and perhaps even, if enough people vote for it, in the Audience Choice timeslot 9am on Sunday Want to see it? Just go to Arisia 2013, with writer guests of honor Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. Note: the films program description is aimed at US viewers because of the location of the convention. If you live somewhere else this film has distribution and are interested, you might be able to see it in a theatre near you (it was released in Russia in 2011).

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