prog: 2509

Offscreen - Retro

In the wake of the unprecedented pandemic, we plunge headfirst into the toxic ooze of the "Anthropocene", an epochal description of the last two hundred and fifty years, during which mankind has disrupted the climate and despoiled every last inch of Earth’s natural landscape.

Despite historical outliers - such as Japan’s Godzilla films - ecological horror films only really began to hit home in the 1970s. With the rise of environmental activism, an increasing number of films adopted the theme of nature’s revenge against man’s abuse of the ecosystem. The so-called "Nature Strikes Back" and "Animal Attack" films tackled the environmental fears of the era by way of rampaging wildlife, poisonous outbreaks and natural catastrophes.

After the first great eco-horror film boom of the 1970s, it wasn’t until the turn of the century that the genre made its mainstream comeback via blockbuster hits like The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and other special effects extravaganzas. The genre has evolved to reflect our own guilt and fear about the damage we have inflicted on nature, and the consequences we are already suffering. Even revenge from the animal kingdom seems muted next to the terrifying realisation that man is the deadliest animal of all.

Our programme includes no less than thirty films, divided between Cinema Nova and Cinematek. From an out-of-control climate (The Last Winter), retribution from the animal world (Long Weekend) and plagues of arthropods (Kingdom of the Spiders, Phase IV) to pandemics (The Andromeda Strain), pollution (Frogs) and overpopulation (Soylent Green), it will be a dark trip through cinematic depictions of climate fear, at the point where the dystopian sci-fi of the first ecological genre films of the 1970s is increasingly becoming a dangerous and tangible reality.

Colin Eggleston, 1978, AU, DCP, ov ang, 97

An Australian couple tries to fix their marriage with a camping trip to the beach in this Ozploitation classic. But they unthinkingly trash the environment - killing a kangaroo, starting fires, hacking down trees - so, after a tense build-up, nature gets its revenge via insects, birds and a literally creepy dugong.

09.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

Godzilla vs The Smog Monster


Yoshimitsu Banno & Ishirô Honda, 1971, JP, 35mm, ov ja st ang, 85

It’s a clash of titans! Toxic sludge forms itself into Hedorah, a flying amphibian behemoth that feeds off pollution, dissolves human flesh, and invades a psychedelic disco. Thousands die. Japan’s last hope is Godzilla, who takes on the challenger in a Mount Fuji death match. Preposterous, enthralling and oddly moving.

11.09 > 19:00 + 25.09 > 17:30
6€ / 4€

John "Bud" Carlos, 1977, US, 35mm, ov ang, 97

The peerless William Shatner plays a vet investigating livestock deaths in rural Arizona. His flirtation with a visiting lady arachnologist is rudely interrupted when they realise pesticides have upset the balance of nature, sending an unstoppable army of slow-moving but deadly tarantulas towards the nearby town.

11.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€



Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, URSS, DCP, ov ru st fr & nl, 162

In a dystopian future, a "stalker" leads a writer and a professor through a polluted environment into a heavily guarded Forbidden Zone to search for a room that may grant wishes. A visionary work by a master filmmaker weaving camerawork and design into an extraordinary meditation on faith, dreams and desire.

12.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind


Hayao Miyazaki, 1984, JP, DCP, ov ja st fr & ang, 117

A hang-gliding princess explores a toxic post-apocalyptic jungle, trying to find a way for surviving humans to co-exist with its mutant creatures, while facing a military threat. This thrilling anime masterpiece was made before Miyazaki founded Studio Ghibli, but already shows his trademark environmental concerns.

17.09 > 19:00
6€ / 4€

Larry Fessenden, 2006, US-IS, DCP, ov ang, 101

An American oil company rep (Ron Perlman) clashes with an environmental scientist on a remote Alaskan outpost afflicted by odd phenomena. An effect of climate change, or is everyone going stir-crazy? Eerie indie eco-horror in which the snowy wasteland draws on its paranormal heritage to oppose the human invaders.

17.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

Barry Levinson, 2012, US, video, ov ang st fr, 84

"There’s something wrong with the water!" Superior found-footage eco-horror, stitched together by skilful editing, in which chemical waste leads to an outbreak of parasitic isopods in a Maryland seaside town where (echoes of "Jaws") the mayor tries to downplay the gruesome havoc so as not to scare off tourists.

17.09 > 23:30
6€ / 4€

Robert Wise, 1971, US, DCP, ov ang, 131

A crashed satellite unleashes a virus that turns human blood into powder. Can scientists isolate the organism before it takes out the entire West Coast? Wise’s sober adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi thriller is alarmingly plausible - but the inventive 70s production design and visual effects are a lot of fun.

19.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

Alex Garland, 2018, GB, video, ov ang st fr, 115

A team of female scientists embarks on a suicide mission into the "Shimmer", an eerily verdant enclave from which only one explorer has previously reemerged. Garland’s adaptation of the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy is cerebral sci-fi with a streak of haunting Lovecraftian surrealism.

23.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

George Romero, 1973, US, 35mm, ov ang, 103

A plane crash infects inhabitants of a Pennsylvania town with a secret biological weapon, leading to a surge of psychotic behaviour, social chaos and martial law. Romero parlays his usual low budget, pitch-black humour and angry political subtext into a virus scenario that now seems uncomfortably close to the bone.

25.09 > 21:30
6€ / 4€

lang: en
id_rubrique: 2512
prog: 2509
pos: aval