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Sci Fi Film Fest Makes Mondays Out of This World at WIU

September 5, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Yesterday's tomorrows are here almost every Monday this month and next on Western Illinois University's Macomb campus.

"Yesterday's Tomorrows: Science Fiction in Film from THEM! to Now," a science fiction film festival sponsored by the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR), University Libraries and the department of English and journalism, celebrates the art of science-fiction filmmaking every Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. and again in the evening at 7 p.m. from Sept. 8-Oct. 27 in the Leslie F. Malpass Library, room 180.

Various members of Western's faculty and staff will introduce such sci fi classics as Stanley Kubrick's and Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "1984," the 1956 film based on George Orwell's dystopian-themed novel of the same name.

Dates, films and the WIU faculty or staff member who will be introducing the selected movies are listed below; the films are open free to the public.

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Science Fiction in Film from THEM! to Now
Sept. 8: "Them!" (1954), introduced by Bill Knight. A meditation on the unintended consequences of the Cold War and the dawn of the Nuclear Age, this witty and highly influential film tells the story of a nuclear blast that creates a race of killer ants of unusual size.

Sept. 15: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), introduced by Tracy Knight. This chilling exploration of personal and political fears of the loss of individual and national identity still captivates audiences and lingers on in the mind long after viewing.

Sept. 22: "1984" (1956), introduced by Sharon Chanley. The classic film of the classic dystopian novel explores contemporary issues such as personal privacy, government surveillance and the nature of dissent. Will you learn to love Big Brother? He's watching.

Sept. 29: "Village of the Damned" (1960), introduced by Christopher Pynes. A dozen blond, creepy, cruel, bug-eyed and seemingly all-powerful children are born under mysterious circumstances in a sleepy English village and set out to control the world. Can they be stopped by mere mortals such as ourselves?

Oct. 6: "Seconds" (1966). What if you could do it all over again and start anew, a new face, a new life? What if someone could offer you the chance to be whomever you wished, for a price? Rock Hudson stars in this examination of the relationship between personal choice and human happiness.

Oct. 13: "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), introduced by Jeffery Darensbourg. Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's supreme cinematic masterpiece, a strikingly beautiful film: "2001" explores the intimate relationship between human nature and technology from a cosmic perspective.

Oct. 20: "Silent Running" (1972). In the (hopefully) far-distant future, a vessel harboring the last of Earth's vegetation orbits the planet with a few human caretakers. When orders are given to abandon the project, one of the members of the crew decides to take things into his own hands.

Oct. 27: Native American Alternative Realities, featuring "From Cherry English" (2005), "The Colony" (2007), and "Dead Man" (1996), introduced by Penny Kelsey. The themes of hostile colonization, cultural identity and loss and environmental destruction are explored in these films with a First Nations' perspective. Two short sci-fi films by Mi'kmaq director Jeff Barnaby will precede Jim Jarmusch's highly acclaimed "Dead Man," starring Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer.

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