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Thursday, May 15, 2008

This week at SFC: Dark City

BUILDING 7 (front stairs)

The Studiofilmclub is located in the front foyer space of building 7.
Food and drink are available courtesy CAFÉ 7.
Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome.

You are welcome to stay late for our weekly post filmclub lime... Food, Drinks and Music.

This week we present "Dark City" the ambitious sci-fi noir by director Alex Proyas.
Starring: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly.

Pre-feature (from 7:30pm) we will be screening "Artifact from the Future:The making of THK 1138", which explores the making of George Lucas's visionary first film "THK 1138"

Dark City trades in such weighty themes as memory, thought control, human will and the altering of reality, but is
engaging mostly in the degree to which it creates and sustains a visually startling alternate universe.
A man (Rufus Sewell) wakes up in a hotel room bath without the slightest idea of where or who he is. All
he does know is that there is a murdered corpse in the room and that he is a wanted man. His wallet tells
him his name is John Murdoch. As he roams the gloomy streets of the city in search of his true identity, he
encounters a bizarre underworld populated by The Strangers, a race of ominous beings that want to kill
him. Aided by a sympathetic detective (William Hurt), an eccentric psychiatrist (Kiefer Sutherland) and his
own strange powers, Murdoch is able to elude his pursuers long enough to discover the horrifying truth
about himself and the city around him. Director Alex Proyas floods the screen with cinematic
and literary references ranging from Murnau and Lang to Kafka and Orwell, creating a unique yet utterly
convincing world. At the center of "Dark City" is a mind-twisting question: what if all of your memories
were manufactured, and the "reality" surrounding you were merely a fabrication? Then who would you be?


Mini Biography
Like David Fincher and Michael Bay, Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music
videos to feature films. To date, he has specialized in visually stunning action thrillers which utilize myth and
iconography. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old.
He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and Radio School along with
Jane Campion and Jocelyn Moorhouse. Proyas collaborated with Campion on two of her shorts, A Girl's Own Story
(1984), for which he wrote and performed a song, and Passionless Moments (1983), which he photographed. Proyas'
own short, Groping (1980), had earned him some attention at festival screenings in Sydney and London. Also while still
a student, the enterprising novice formed Meaningful Eye Contact, a production company.Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of
the Clouds (1989) marked Proyas' feature debut as director and screenwriter. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film,
with its stylized production design and aural texture, was atypical of standard Australian fare, more closely resembling a
longform music video. Critics admired the director's vision, but felt the overall result was lacking. Proyas continued to
hone his craft helming TV advertisements for products like Nike, Nissan and Swatch (earning kudos from advertising
associations in both Australia and England) and directing videos for such artists as Sting, INXS and Crowded House. In
1993, Proyas was tapped to helm the screen adaptation of James O'Barr's comic strip The Crow (1994). While filming,
lead actor Brandon Lee died of an accidental gunshot wound (ironically the film's story revolves around his character's
resurrection). His death cast a pall over the remainder of the filming and its subsequent theatrical release, although
reviews were generally favorably, most singling out the production values which created a colorless rain-soaked
wasteland that invoked comparisons with Ridley Scott's seminal Blade Runner (1982) and Tim Burton's Batman (1989).
Made for about $14 million, it grossed close to $50 million domestically. Proyas seemed set to move on to other projects
and was announced as the director of Casper (1995), but left the project and was replaced by Brad Silberling. After a
four year absence, he returned with another thriller, Dark City (1998), about an amnesiac who may or may not have
been a serial killer. Garage Days (2002) marked Proyas' return to his homeland, Australia: the movie tells the story of a
young Sydney garage band desperately trying to make it big in the competitive world of rock 'n' roll. In 2004 Proyas
returned to Hollywood: he directed I, Robot (2004), a science fiction film suggested by the Isaac Asimov short story
compilation of the same name that starred Will Smith. It was a box office success, but met with mixed reactions by
readers and fans of the Asimov stories.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This week at SFC - Dog Day Afternoon

The Studio Film Club is now screening its films in the front foyer space of building 7.
Food and drink are available courtesy CAFÉ 7.
Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome.

Doors open 7:30 - Film starts 8:15 pm.

You are welcome to stay late for our weekly post Film Club lime... Food, Drinks and Music.

This week we present actor Al Pacino in his academy nomination performance for the movie Dog Day Afternoon.
In it he plays a ferocious and fed-up bank robber whose plan to rob the local bank to fund his male lover's sex-change goes absurdly wrong.
Director Sidney Lumet crafts his classic film by balancing suspense, violence, and humor.

"Dog Day Afternoon"/Sidney Lumet/1975/140mins/USA

Based on a true 1972 story, Sidney Lumet's 1975 drama chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. Shortly before closing time, scheming loser Sonny (Al Pacino) and his slow-witted buddy, Sal (John Cazale), burst into a Brooklyn bank for what should be a run-of-the-mill robbery, but everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that there is almost no money in the bank. The situation swiftly escalates, as Sonny and Sal take hostages; enough cops to police the tristate
area surround the bank; a large Sonny-sympathetic crowd gathers to watch; the media arrive to complete the circus; and police captain Moretti (Charles Durning) tries to negotiate with Sonny while keeping the volatile spectacle under control. When Sonny's lover, Leon (Chris Sarandon), tries to talk Sonny out of the bank, we learn the robbery's motive: to finance Leon's sex-change operation. Sonny demands a plane to escape, but the end is near once menacingly cool FBI agent Sheldon (James Broderick)
arrives to take over the negotiations.