Into the Zone: A Weekend with Adam Curtis




Join Cinefamily for a weekend with BAFTA award-winning political documentarian and journalist Adam Curtis, featuring the Los Angeles premiere of his prescient, political doc, HyperNormalisation! Curtis will also present a selection of films that explore the themes laid out in his doc – concerning politics, power structures, and the slippery nature of our realities.


Show & Tell with Adam Curtis: Friday, March 17th at 7:30pm

Starship Troopers (w/ Adam Curtis and writer Ed Neumeier in person): Friday, March 17th at 10:00pm

Orpheus (w/ Adam Curtis in person): Saturday, March 18th at 3:00pm

HyperNormalisation (w/ Adam Curtis in person): Saturday, March 18th at 6:30pm

HyperNormalisation (w/ Adam Curtis in person): Sunday, March 19th at 1:00pm

The Passenger (w/ Adam Curtis and Matthew Weiner in person): Sunday, March 19th at 6:00pm

Blow Out (w/ Adam Curtis in person): Sunday, March 19th at 9:45pm

Blow Out (with Adam Curtis in person)

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3/19/2017 - 9:45PM

Blow Out shows just how powerfully conspiracy theories can corrode our modern sense of reality, and how they are one of the prime forces that led to the growing distrust of politicians. It is also about the strange role film and movies played in this – how the recorded image, which seems so real, can sometimes lead to madness and distrust.” –Adam Curtis

“It’s a great movie.” –Pauline Kael

Dir. Brian de Palma, 1981, 35mm, 107 min.

The Passenger (with Adam Curtis and Matthew Weiner in person)

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3/19/2017 - 6PM

Adam Curtis presents Antonioni’s The Passenger! Following the film, Curtis will do a Q&A, moderated by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner (who cites Curtis’ iconic film The Century of the Self as a key influence on Mad Men).

The Passenger was made in the 1970s at the very moment when the liberal confidence was collapsing. The dream of shaping the world was falling apart not just at home, but in what was then called The Third World. Jack Nicholson travels into that world and his whole sense of identity disappears. It is a brilliant portrayal of the roots of the present day liberal confusion and retreat from reality – a retreat that helped give us Donald Trump.” –Adam Curtis

Amongst the vast red bleakness of hellish Saharan Africa, the grey architectural wonders of Barcelona and the lush greens of London, Antonioni’s trademark visual mastery of exploring man’s emotional relationship to his environment expands to a global scale in The Passenger. In the director’s final flirtation with Hollywood, Jack Nicholson drops all vestiges of his “ultimate movie star” persona, losing himself completely in a perfectly rendered feature-length slo-mo scream of despair, as he bounces from country to country, acquiring the beautiful Maria Schneider (Last Tango In Paris) as an erstwhile companion along the way to his impeccably-photographed oblivion. Reducing suspense to a minimum, Antonioni has crafted a curious and satisfying take on the “international political thriller”, transforming a typical genre exercise into a subdued, sublime travelogue of existential crisis.

Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975, 35mm, 126 min.

HyperNormalisation (with Adam Curtis in person)

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3/19/2017 - 1PM

“Those in power in society – the politicians, the journalists, the experts – maintain their power by telling us stories about the world. Those stories tell us what is true and what is false, what is right and wrong, and what is real – and what is illusion. But there come times when these stories begin to break down. And people start to distrust those in power – and their definition of what is real and what is fake. At that point you enter the Zone. HyperNormalisation tells the story of how we got to this place. It is also about the new systems of power that we cannot see – because we are trapped inside the Zone.” -Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis’s acclaimed 2016 BBC documentary tells a story that begins in 1975 in New York and Damascus, and ends with today’s world. Curtis masterfully edits found footage to investigate how, at a time of confusing and inexplicable world events, politicians and other power brokers construct new realities.

Dir. Adam Curtis, 2016, DCP, 166 min.

HyperNormalisation (with Adam Curtis in person)

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3/18/2017 - 6:30PM

“Those in power in society – the politicians, the journalists, the experts – maintain their power by telling us stories about the world. Those stories tell us what is true and what is false, what is right and wrong, and what is real – and what is illusion. But there come times when these stories begin to break down. And people start to distrust those in power – and their definition of what is real and what is fake. At that point you enter the Zone. HyperNormalisation tells the story of how we got to this place. It is also about the new systems of power that we cannot see – because we are trapped inside the Zone.” -Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis’s acclaimed 2016 BBC documentary tells a story that begins in 1975 in New York and Damascus, and ends with today’s world. Curtis masterfully edits found footage to investigate how, at a time of confusing and inexplicable world events, politicians and other power brokers construct new realities.

Dir. Adam Curtis, 2016, DCP, 166 min.

Orpheus (with Adam Curtis in person)

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3/18/2017 - 3PM

Orpheus is a film made just after the WWII – at the moment when our rational, technocratic, managed world was just beginning. It is about the things that were banished from this world – the enchanted world of dreams, magic, and the courage to face death and our own mortality. That technocratic age may be coming to an end – and the dark beauty you see in Orpheus might come back in some strange way.” –Adam Curtis

Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). Seeking inspiration, the poet follows the princess from the world of the living to the land of the dead, through Cocteau’s famous mirrored portal. Orpheus’s peerless visual poetry and dreamlike storytelling represent the legendary Cocteau at the height of his powers. (Criterion)

Dir. Jean Cocteau, 1950, 35mm, 95 min.

Starship Troopers (w/ Adam Curtis and writer Ed Neumeier in person)

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3/17/2017 - 10PM

Starship Troopers is one of the great subversive films of recent times. It is about what happens when there is a sense of fear, uncertainty and doubt about the world we live in. It shows how attractive Fascism is as a response. And it is really radical – because the film makes you feel that attraction.” –Adam Curtis

With this incredibly constructed 1997 sci-fi saga, mad Dutch auteur Paul Verhoeven wraps up his gonzo dystopian triptych that began with Robocop and carried through into Total Recall. In many ways, Starship Troopers is the most devastatingly satirical of the three, using Robert Heinlein’s straightforward ‘50s novel as a jumping off point to gleefully skewer our conflict-minded, gung-ho culture. “[A] ruthlessly funny and keenly self-aware sendup of right-wing militarism. The fact that it was and continues to be taken at face value speaks to the very vapidity the movie skewers.” — Calum Marsh, The Atlantic

Dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1997, 35mm, 129 min.

Show & Tell with Adam Curtis

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3/17/2017 - 7:30PM

Cinefamily Show & Tell invites artists, filmmakers, musicians and other cultural heroes to divulge their deepest, darkest media obsessions by opening their closets, digging through their attics and plundering their garages to curate an evening of… whatever they want to share!

This edition features award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist Adam Curtis. Curtis works for BBC television in London and is known for his masterful manipulation of found footage. His acclaimed films include The Century of the Self (2002), The Power of Nightmares (2004), All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011), Bitter Lake (2015) – and most recently HyperNormalisation (2016). Join us for a clip show with this skilled archive-digger!

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