The Running Man +TALK: Dystopia Now

In July we’re thrilled to be a part of ‘The Warning’, a weekend of films at the East End Film Festival which look at the world’s ills – past and present – and set up the various possibilities of our future.

Curated by Cigarette Burns Cinema, these stories form one large narrative, starting with a voice from the past, following through unease, unrest and the inevitable resistance. Sadly this tale takes a dark turn where warnings were ignored and we end up in a dystopian future where the struggles, though different, have continued headlong towards collapse

The Running ManOriginal poster design // Vienna Man
Prints // buy

In 2017, after a worldwide economic collapse, America has become a totalitarian state. The government pacifies the populace by broadcasting game shows where criminals fight for their lives, the most popular of which is The Running Man, a gladiator-style game where “runners” attempt to evade “stalkers” for a chance to be pardoned by the state.

Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a police helicopter pilot wrongly convicted of a massacre during a food riot, is forced to run the public execution gauntlet, but the twisted and ruthless host of the show, Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), has no intention of letting him escape.

Paul Michael Glaser, USA 1987, 18, 101mins

“A brainless, breathless thrill”

“An engagingly mean, cruel, nasty, funny send-up of television”
The New York Times

The screening will be preceded by a talk from Jeremy Gilbert, Professor of Cultural and Political Theory at the University of East London, who will examine whether the dystopian futures depicted in science fiction films and books of the 70s and 80s were just satires on their time, or accurate predictions of what our culture would be like…

Big Brother and X-Factor may not actually physically murder their contestants, but these public exercises in ritual humiliation are in other ways scarily close to the future which those science fictions were predicting. Can we learn anything about the changing dynamics of our own culture from these historical visions of the future? And what capacity does cinema have to intervene in a culture saturated by younger media forms?

Where: Masonic Temple, Andaz Liverpool Street, EC2M 7QN
When: Sunday 3rd July 2016 // 4:30pm
Tickets: £12.50 (double feature w/Things to Come) // Full line-up and ticket options
Event page: Join us on Facebook