A special technological ambiance will await the audience of RIGA IFF, as the festival’s section of retrospective and research IN TECHNO VERITAS is focusing on the interaction between society and technologies in the selected works of classic filmmakers this year. The guest curator – film expert Viktors Freibergs – invites to explore the cinematic marvels that have amazed and inspired several generations of cinefiles and film professionals already.
Two of these films from 1980s depict concerns and issues that have gained major importance since the time of their making. Two other films were shot during the period of Cold War when it seemed that the related international tension and fear will never decrease. Cinema offered to confront these fears head-on or to escape in hopeful visions. Mankind made its first notable steps in space exploration and the interest in science and science fiction flourished.
Videodrome (1983) – a techno-surreal provocation with violence and brainwashing by David Paul Cronenberg, the famous innovator of forms and language. It stars Debbie Harry, the ultimate pop-rock diva – lead singer of the new wave band Blondie. Andy Warhol, the key figure in Pop Art and master of media manipulation, as well as Harry’s friend and author of her iconic portraits, described Videodrome as A Clockwork Orange (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1971) of the 80s.
Brazil (1985) – Terry Gilliam’s Orwellian dystopia with political satire. The featured retro-futuristic world vibrates with the variations of Brazil, the well-known samba melody composed by Ary Barroso. With academic background in political science and frustrated by the brutality of law enforcement authorities in the USA, the director moved to Great Britain and joined the surreal comedy group Monthy Python. He sees an alternative to the world-view imposed by state power and media in the magic realism.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – a film directed by Robert Wise about an important message that may affect the entire human race. Based on the Harry Bates’ science fiction short story Farewell to the Master (1940), the screenplay was written by Edmund Hall North, a former army officer, in response to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. An alien visitor says brilliant words in this work: “I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.” One more proof of the timeless impact of this film is that there was a remake released in 2008 starring Keanu Reeves.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film symphony is based on a short story written by the co-writer Arthur C. Clarke. There are mysterious monoliths that play a crucial role in the evolution of mankind and a sentient computer HAL 9000 that reveals human weaknesses way more spectacular than any person in the space mission. The director has stated: “If the film stirs the emotions and penetrates the subconscious of the viewer, if it stimulates, however inchoately, mythological and religious yearnings and impulses, then it has succeeded.”
Please note that the annual EARLY BIRD ticket sales will be launched on May 29! This limited offer of one hundred exclusive ten-ticket packs is your chance to spend a lot less on the RIGA IFF attendance in autumn.