The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UCR ARTSblock Film Series, Thursday-Saturday, March 21-23, 7 p.m., $9.99 general admission and $5 for students with I.D.

This mini series of space films is shown in conjunction with the ARTSblock exhibition Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration.

Thursday, March 21, Moon UK 2009
“In an age when our space and distance boundaries are being pushed way beyond the human comfort zone, how do we deal with the challenges of space in real time? How do our minds deal with long periods of isolation? Space is a cold and lonely place, pitiless and indifferent. What kind of a man would volunteer for this duty? What kind of a corporation would ask him to? Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind of or other, including digital.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.

Friday, March 22, Alien (The Director’s Cut) USA/UK 1979
“The rerelease of Alien in a director’s cut 24 years after its debut turns out to be a great corrective to prevailing warps in movie space and time. In one dimension, the classic sci-fi thriller’s wide-screen grandeur and director Ridley Scott’s verve in filling his huge canvas with elaborate, abstract landscapes is an upside-the-head rebuke to home viewing. And the movie’s tantalizingly slow, oozing pace is a heartbeat-tripping reminder that today’s sped-up blockbuster conventions may improve on speed, but not on thrills. Even the rib-ripping birth scene unfolds at a tempo more familiar to a waltz than a rupture. Pay attention to the enhanced sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and score have never twined so hauntingly.” Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly.

Saturday March 23, 2001: A Space Odyssey USA/UK 1968
“Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest films of all time and it is the director’s most profound and confounding exploration of humanity’s relationship to technology, violence, sexuality and social structures. Kubrick’s philosophical inquiries about the nature of humanity are explored throughout all his films but here he explored his preoccupations by examining the place that humans occupy in the universe, asking questions about the way humanity has evolved and suggesting what the next stage of our evolution will be like. But the ultimate meaning of the film is as deliberately ambiguous as the motives and origins of the black monoliths whose gift of intelligence gave humanity the tools it needed to both survive and self destruct.” Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy.

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