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Post-Apocalypse

*Although the idea of the end of the world certainly wasn’t new, it gained vitality in the West during the Cold War. At the time, the apocalypse was essentially of the nuclear variety, which is the principal theme for this module.
To represent the abundant "last man on Earth sub-genre, we’ll present the Hollywood 50s classic "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" starring Harry Belafonte. The nuclear threat has both sides of the Iron Curtain in a black and white state of alarm, but each in a different way. This is illustrated by "The End of August at the Hotel Ozone", a Czech film from the late 60s that questions the post-apocalyptic generations and their confrontation with the relics of an ancient civilization.
Our nod to the 70s will take the shape of exploitation films that became cult classics, like the unclassifiable "A Boy and His Dog" and, of course, "Mad Max".
The 80s heralded the decline of European genre cinema, but there are still one or two absurd pearls like "The New Barbarians". It was an era of cold, pessimistic thoughts about the difficulties of daily life, survival, desperation and the hope of a better future. This goes for both sides, be it "Threads" in England or "Letter from a Dead Man" in Russia.
Brian Trenchard-Smith takes up the pessimism in Australia and creates exploitation cinema that evokes a social apocalypse with "Dead-End Drive-In".
So here a little help on your journey through space and time to investigate this theme that we refuse to see from only one perspective. The alternating tone and approach should give you new insight into this extremely rich cinematic genre.*



L.Q. Jones, 1975, US, 16mm, ov , 91'

"A Boy and His Dog" is without a doubt the most off-kilter, corrosive film in this section on surviving the apocalypse! 2024: a fifth World War that only lasted five days has turned America to dust. Those who survived, mainly men, rummage through deserted landscapes in search of canned food or women to rape. Vic (young Don Johnson) has made a pact with his dog Blood, with whom he can communicate telepathically. Vic takes care of food whilst Blood -too intelligent to look for stuff to eat- scans his surroundings in search of women. While on their mission, they come across Quilla June, a woman who proves more submissive than Vic had hoped... "A Boy and His Dog" is one of those cult films that transcend their genre. It’s the second feature directed by the actor L. Q. Jones, who doesn’t hesitate to shift, mid-way through the movie, into a fierce satire of the USA! An inventive film, full of sarcastic humor and free of complexes. Surprising from start to finish.

05.03 > 22:00


End of August at Hotel Ozone

Konec srpna v Hotelu Ozon

Jan Schmidt, 1967, CZ, 35mm, ov st fr, 77'

For years, "The End of August at the Hotel Ozone" was a legendary but rarely screened film. It’s the missing link between the more sober and meditative ’end of the world’ films and the later varieties, like the escape genre. Years after a nuclear holocaust, a group of young girls wander through destroyed forests in search of food. An old woman in a military suit leads them and tries to keep them in line, although their survival essentially depends on their knives and firearms. One day, they come across an old man in the forest. The man leads them to an decrepit hotel where he resides. The director Jan Schmidt observes this drama with careful and constant neutrality, not always choosing to indulge in the symbolic content of many scenes. The result is a visually bewitching story, a tale of what could happen to humanity when the last traces of civilization go up in smoke.

07.03 > 22:00


I nuovi barbari

The New Barbarians

Enzo G. Castellari, 1982, IT, video, vt ang , 91'

When it comes to post-apocalyptic movies, it would be unthinkable to deprive oneself of a good ol’ exploitation film. "Mad Max", "The Warriors" and "Escape from New York" are the most well-known fictions of this sub-genre, made with more or less humor and success. But the Italians are the uncontested champions of the genre. So we’ve decided to find the craziest of the bunch, a film directed by Castellari, who follows the beat of his own drum. Former soccer player Fred Williamson is part of the game as is Anna Kanakis, both regulars of the genre. But the award goes to George Eastman, whose name appears in the credits of EVERY post-apocalypse Italian film (as an actor or set designer). If he was memorable as the Big Ape in "2019, After the Fall of New York", he’s simply legendary for his really mean role in this film. "The New Barbarians" borrows a lot from "Mad Max", but without the class… Shot in a quarry, it imitates the latter, for lack of a script, with ridiculous vehicles, awful special effects and dubious virility. "The New Barbarians" is hands down the most hilarious midnight screening of the year.

07.03 > 24:00


Ranald MacDougall, 1959, US, 35mm, ov st fr, 95'

"The World, the Flesh, and the Devil" is one of the first science-fiction drama films of the ’last man on Earth’ genre. Ralph (Harry Belafonte) resurfaces to the light of day after spending a week trapped in a collapsed mine,. He’s surprised to discover that there’s not a single living soul for miles. Ralph goes to New York where all he finds are the deserted streets of Manhattan. And not a corpse in sight. He finds a radio station where he can listen to the final broadcasts… Made in 1959, "The World, the Flesh..:" was ahead of its time (the Civil Rights Act wasn’t signed until three years later). Even today, the magnificent panoramic black and white photography of a devastated Manhattan remain breathtaking. And what’s more, you’ll have the pleasure of hearing Harry Belafonte sing.

+ There Will Come Soft Rains [Budet laskovyy dozhd]

Nazim Tulyakhodzayev, 1984, URSS, 35mn, ov st fr, 10'

Atomic toys were right about humans. A nuclear winter takes over Earth while animals and absurd machines, tirelessly repeating the orders they were given, share the ruins of the American Empire.

08.03 > 20:00


Mick Jackson, 1984, GB, video, ov , 110'

"Threads" is hands down the most horrible and realistic film in this section. Produced by the BBC in 1984, this under-appreciated fiction film is, ironically, more radical than the "classic" docu-fiction "The Bomb" by Peter Watkins, a film that was produced and banned from broadcasting 20 years earlier by the same British channel... "Threads" starts off with the daily lives of a few inhabitants in Sheffield. The radio and television in the background chronicle a far-off conflict escalating in Iran (a hazardous anticipation, of course). The people, indifferent, try to keep the appearance of a peaceful life anchored in habit. But hysteria and panic rise quickly when the hospital begins to evacuate patients and paintings disappear from the museums. And then the bomb hits... followed by a step by step description of the consequences, the minutes, hours, weeks, months and years after the explosion. The events are so credible that you constantly have to remind yourself that it’s only fiction. "Threads" is not only a clinical portrait of the end of our time that will freeze you with terror, it’s also a starting point for what happens afterward. A rare document, maybe terrifying, but not to be missed if you don’t want to die an "idiot"...

08.03 > 22:00


Letters from a Dead Man

Pisma myortvogo cheloveka

Konstantin Lopushansky, 1986, URSS, 35mn, ov st fr & ang, 87'

To err is human. But in this case, error eradicates nearly all life on earth. In a world ravaged by a nuclear apocalypse, one scientist survives on his hope that his son still lives. He writes his son letters that will never be read, letters to help him express his thoughts on humanity and his guilt over the technological craze that led to this tragedy. This is all that’s left for these condemned survivors: to meditate on the extinction of their species. For some people, the survival instinct make them find a ray of hope in anything, like in a rumored subterranean world for refugees waiting for the air to clear. But many are resigned, unable to find anything worth saving from "earlier" society: Through this tragedy, they seek the dignity that human beings lacked when "they were alive".
No point in arguing, the film takes a decidedly pessimistic stance. The aesthetic is somber, the image yellowed, as though irradiated. The fascinating atmosphere is reminiscent of "Stalker" by Tarkovsky, a film on which Lopushansky worked. The human condition when faced by the extreme, the anticipation of a nuclear tragedy seen from the other side of the Iron Curtain! A small anecdote: the crew finished shooting a mere five weeks before the Tchernobyl disaster...

Director Konstantin Lopushansky will present the film in person.

15.03 > 18:00


George Miller, 1979, AU, 35mm, ov st fr, 93'

Mad Max is featured in this second edition of Offscreen because it’s a film that brilliantly represents both the Post-Apocalyptic and Ozploitation modules. This is your chance to watch a shiny new copy this classic genre film, in cinemascope and subtitled in French.
When compared to other Australian productions, it’s easy to see how this film had grand ambitions, and why it was a visual and narrative success. Fabulous chase sequences and stunts: the results of an undeniable native savoir-faire epitomized by "Mad Max". The film’s post-apocalyptic atmosphere has hues of social dereliction, with a true sense of disorientation provided by a huge landscape of endless roads. The story behind the apocalypse is explained in the Road Warrior adventure series, which is also where the fuel myth, the holy grail of the future, reaches its true dimensions.
George Miller proves from this first film onward that medicine is not his only field of expertise, and through a variety of formal discoveries (street level perspective shots, accelerated images, use of music, delayed narration, references to the genre, etc...) he announces the atypical and eclectic nature of his future career.

21.03 > 20:00


Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1986, AU, 35mm, ov , 92'

Like the United States, Australia is ruled by the car, the loyal friend of people who inhabit large spaces. So it’s no surprise that drive-ins also had their hour of glory here, particularly as a hang out for bored teenagers. The VHS market of the 80s dealt a fatal blow to these places, and they rapidly became anachronistic. The post-apocalyptic genre of exploitation film isn’t applicable, and "Clockwork Orange" with its violent, misguided teens is also elsewhere. So what’s the connection? The director finds one using the story of a young white trash couple preoccupied by cars and blondes. The two are brought to a pitiful drive-in run by a gang of mean dudes (is that what they were called back then?). The evening goes sour when the young couple realizes that they won’t ever be able to escape what is now a detention camp for teenagers without a future. They’re condemned to watch a never-ending cycle of movies by... Brian Trenchard-Smith.

Brian Trenchard-Smith will be attending the screening

21.03 > 24:00


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lang: en
id_rubrique: 1181
prog: 1176
pos: aval