Flix explores the Future Imperfect

Mar 30, 2019

Belfast — April's Friday Night Flix features films themed “Future Imperfect?” The free screenings take place Fridays at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

The best sci-fi movies are about the present … with a twist. In April, the Friday Flix series features films about “what might be if” our world changes in unexpected ways. The first, on April 5, is “Her” (2013, USA), asking what if you fall in love with your computer? Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely writer who buys the latest voice-activated operating system named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), and he finds the ads are right: “It's not just an operating system, it's a consciousness." But what is real and what is in his mind? The R-rated movie runs 126 minutes and is in English.

What if our loved ones could come back to comfort us? On April 12, “Marjorie Prime” (2017, USA) focuses on 85-year old Marjorie (Lois Smith), who is experiencing the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Trying to give her comfort, her daughter (Geena Davis) and son-in-law (Tim Robbins) hire a service that creates a younger version of Marjorie's late husband (John Hamm) with whom she can spend time. Is she comfortable, or just more confused? The English-language film runs 98 minutes.

On April 19, “Children of Men” (2006, USA/UK/Japan), from a novel by British mystery writer P.D. James, imagines a future in which no child has been born for a generation — for no reason that science can find. In the midst of the resulting social upheaval, a woman is found to be pregnant. This is a dystopian tale set in a future London, about the man (Clive Owen) given the task of ensuring the young mother-to-be reaches a safe haven. The R-rated film also features Julianne Moore, Michael Caine and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The English-language film runs 109 minutes.

The month's series will end April 26 with a dark comedy, “The Lobster” (2015, Ireland/UK/Greece/France/Netherlands). In another possible future, single adults must find a romantic human partner in 45 days before they are turned into the animal of their choice. Our hero's choice is to plan to become a lobster, but other adventures ensue before he achieves that fate. The R-rated film runs 118 minutes and features Colin Farrell, Olivia Colman, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly and Rachel Weisz. It is screened in English and French, with subtitles.

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