Almost Midnight: Camp, Cult SciFi Classics

Michael York, Farrah Fawcett and Jenny Agutter in Logan's Run
Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter in Escape from the Planet  of the Apes Tim Burton's Mars Attacks Max Von Sydow in Flash Gordon Jane Fonda in Barbarella

Our 10th Anniversary Film Series celebrates five Science Fiction gems. These films have a fan following and those elusive qualities that have moved them into cult status – suitable for a midnight film showing. Well, in our case, almost midnight. 

What is it about these films that draw us back to them again and again? Is it the built in self-effacing humor of these movies – that they seem to be in on the joke? Is it the absurdity of the plot lines, or the over-the-top sets and costumes? Is it the broad, scene-stealing acting? Could it be that underneath their flash there is also substance? We think the answer is yes, all of the above – but join us and our host, film screenwriter and film professor, Darren Foster as he takes us where no man has ever gone before – at least not with a straight face anyway.

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971) Directed by Don Taylor. Starring Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Sal Mineo. There really is no escaping this fun, humorous second sequel to the classic Planet of the Apes. And amidst all the great lines and goofy set ups, there seems to be a commentary on being human and humane. Plus the ending is so poignant, you might be just a touch moved by it all. For real. 98 minutes. Rated G. Tuesday, October 2, 6-9 p.m., B2 Conference Center

Mars Attacks! (1996) Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close. Cult films aren't usually created intentionally; they are the product of some alchemic accident that propels them toward becoming a midnight movie. But Tim Burton set out to make a camp sci-fi cult film that is an instant classic. Not short on hammy acting (even the Martians overact) and lots of 1950s nostalgia, it still asks us to ponder the big puzzlers – politics, war, greed, sex – without demanding that you take a side. Plus it's oddly charming. 106 minutes. PG-13. Tuesday, October 9, 6-9 p.m., B2 Conference Center

Barbarella (1968) Directed by Roger Vadim. Starring Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law. Join Fresh City Life for an extraordinary night at the movies. New York author, hostess and trendsetter, Brini Maxwell brings her spin to our showing of the outrageous 1968 Jane Fonda confection, Barbarella, directed by Roger Vadim. The tagline for this film claims that Barbarella is a woman who makes Science Fiction something else," and we decided this film needed a hostess who is something else, too. Style maven Brini Maxwell will be on hand to talk us through Jane Fonda's epic, futuristic turn. Barbarella, Jane and Brini. Hmmm. If our mission is to make a wing-dinger… mission accomplished. 98 minutes. Unrated. Registration encouraged for this film presentation. Please register online or call 720-865-1206. Tuesday, October 16, 6-9 p.m., B2 Conference Center

Logan's Run (1976) Directed by Michael Anderson. Starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter. Logan (York) has a big problem: the giant machine that runs his world kinda wants him to find out why everyone isn't happily lining up to die on their thirtieth birthday as instructed. Sounds like an average night at Studio 54 during disco's heyday, right? Well, Logan's Run has got all the best nods to the era, from groovy futuristic, skin-tight clothes (and apparently stretch polyester is super fashionable in the future), a disco-ball party called Renewal in which the coolest guests all explode, and of course, Farrah Fawcett, flashing her fantastic hair and perfect smile. Ultimately, this film asks the most profound question of all: If there's no Farrah in the future, what, then, is the point? See this gorgeous, weird film on the big screen. 119 minutes. Rated PG. Tuesday, October 23, 6-9 p.m., B2 Conference Center

Flash Gordon (1980) Directed by Mike Hodges. Starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow. The Earth is under attack and Dr. Hans Zarkov kidnaps famous sports hero Flash Gordon and Dale Arden. "If memory serves, this is more or less the same beginning as in the original movie serialization of 'Flash Gordon,' back in 1936. Even if it's not, this new Dino De Laurentiis production is true to the tacky pop origins of the Flash Gordon comic strip and the serials starring Buster Crabbe. At a time when "Star Wars" and its spin-offs have inspired special effects men to bust a gut making their interplanetary adventures look real, Flash Gordon is cheerfully willing to look as phony as it is." – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. Tuesday, October 30, 6-9 p.m., B2 Conference Center

Full Fresh City Life schedule here.

Comments

Is the library interested in having a guest at the MARS ATTACKS screening. The 2D roto artist from Warner Digital Studios who worked on the film, lives in Denver. Please contact me, if you would like him to attend and possibly do a brief Q&A after the movie.

Sorry email at: jason@worker-studio.com or call (303) 859-7423

Barbarella is one of my very favs, another which may not count is Buckaroo Banzai!

This series looks amazing!

There's a modern campy sci-fi movie that is a send up of all of the old B movies that I love- it's called The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. Long live Krobar and Lattice!

Post new comment