The Irish Film Institute presents a season of classic science-fiction films this April in partnership with the Science Gallery.

The Irish Film Institute presents FUTURES PAST, a season of classic Sci-Fi films to be introduced by guest scientific speakers, in partnership with TCD’s Science Gallery. The season runs from 6th to 27th of April.

Filmmakers have long used cinema as a tool for prediction and social commentary, exploring contemporary anxieties through visions of often dystopian futures. FUTURES PAST aims to assess just how prescient they were, to explore the accuracy of their visions, and to take the measure of how relevant the themes expressed remain today.

David O’Mahony, Head of IFI Cinema Programming, said: “Since the early days of cinema, filmmakers have looked to scientific achievements as inspiration for their speculative fictions. The films in the FUTURES PAST season, intended by their makers as social commentary on their own time, are visionary glimpses of where the human race might ultimately end up. We’re thrilled to partner with Science Gallery Dublin to explore the issues raised by these filmmakers, the accuracy of their predictions and their relevance today.”

Lynn Scarff, Director of Science Gallery Dublin, said: “Great movies captivate, they make you lose track of time and propel you to another place. Science Gallery Dublin is delighted to partner with IFI on this series – it’s a fantastic opportunity to bring together creative minds from a variety of disciplines to discuss how speculative science fiction in film has enabled us, as viewers, to try on a range of speculative futures. Most of all it brings the compelling world of science and cinema together for an entertaining evening.”

The season kicks off with Val Guest’s apocalyptic disaster drama The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) which anticipates contemporary concerns about climate change. Oisin Coughlan (Friends of the Earth) and Diarmuid Torney (DCU lecturer) will be giving a talk before the screening.

Other movies of note featuring in FUTURES PAST include Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; screening from a glorious new 70mm print), Silent Running (1972) with Ella McSweeney (Presenter, RTÉ’s Ear to the Ground) and Yvonne Buckley (Chair of Zoology, Head of Biodiversity, TCD) discussing the topic of extinction beforehand, Soylent Green (1973), Richard Fleischer’s clever blend of dystopian sci-fi, and George Lucas’ debut film THX 1138 (1971).

FUTURES PAST is a collaboration with Science Gallery Dublin. Tickets may be booked online or from the IFI Box Office by calling 01 679 3477.

IFI banner
The full schedule for FUTURES PAST is as follows:-

Guest Speakers: Oisin Coughlan (Friends of the Earth) and Diarmuid Torney (Lecturer in International Relations at DCU).

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (70MM) – Opens Apr 8th. Screening with intro Apr 10th (14.00)
Tickets: €12 (€10 Concessions).
Guest Speakers: Joseph Roche (former Mars One Candidate/Professor of Education, TCD) and Peter Gallagher (Professor of Astrophysics, TCD).
Also showing as part of IFI Explorers on April 13th (16.00) – tickets €3 for 15-18 year olds.

SILENT RUNNING – Apr 13th (18.30)
Guest Speakers: Ella McSweeney (Presenter, RTÉ’s Ear to the Ground) and Yvonne Buckley (Chair of Zoology, Head of Biodiversity, TCD).

SOYLENT GREEN – Apr 16th (14.00)
Guest Speaker: Claire Anne O’Keefe (chef/food blogger/scientist).

GATTACA – Apr 17th (14.00)
Guest speakers: Shaun O’Boyle (Research Officer, Science Gallery Dublin and podcast producer) and Aoife McLysaght (Professor of Genetics, TCD).

Gattaca movie poster
Guest Speaker: Lynn Scarff, Director of Science Gallery Dublin.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE – Apr 23rd (14.00)
Guest Speakers: Claire O’Connell (The Irish Times) and Fergal O’Brien (Professor of Biomaterials, AMBER and RCSI).

IFI FAMILY: WALL-E – Apr 24th (11.00)
Tickets: €4.80 per person, €14.40 family ticket (2 adults + 2 children, 1 adult + 3 children).

Brunch + film €16; film only is normal IFI pricing. Sunday brunch is served 12pm – 4pm.

THX 1138 – Apr 27th (18.30)

Irish Film Institute
6, Eustace Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2

Tel: 01 679 3477 (Box office)


the thin grey line

Lead image from Soylent Green movie poster; all other images courtesy IFI


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