Art Directors Guild Film Society and The American Cinematheque Present Screening and Special Panel
Sunday, August 19, 5:30 p.m. Aero Theatre in Santa Monica
The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque will screen Just Imagine (1930), arguably Hollywood’s very first major science-fiction film, on Sunday, August 19, at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Though Just Imagine was reportedly inspired by the grim Metropolis (1927), this rarely seen film is a fascinating musical comedy set in the then unimaginably distant future of 1980 – a future of personal airships and rockets to Mars – starring Maureen O’Sullivan, El Brendel, John Garrick, and the exotic “Joyzelle.” The program, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, will explore the film’s place at the very beginning of futurism in American movies, as well as honor the film’s legendary Oscar-winning Production Designer Stephen Goosson for his major design contributions to this highly influential film.
See the film's opening sequence:
“Today, most films set in the future portray a bleak, dystopian, even apocalyptic world. Just Imagine’s vision of the future is a beautiful, playful utopia. Prohibition may be a nuisance in their 1980 – but a hero can still woo his girl by leading an expedition to Mars – where he discovers a planet ruled by a showgirl in a chrome sarong!”
After the feature, a series of clips illustrating the influence of Just Imagine on such films as The Fifth Element (1997), Blade Runner (1982), Minority Report (2002), Things To Come (1936), Logan’s Run (1976), Brazil (1985), Soylent Green (1973), and Sleeper (1973) will screen.
A Q&A will follow, moderated by Muto, which will feature Nicholas Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy at USC’s Annenberg School. Cull’s books include Projecting Empire: Imperialism and the Popular Cinema and the forthcoming Projecting Tomorrow: Science Fiction and the Popular Cinema.
“As 2012 heralds the Guild's 75th anniversary year, we have chosen this visually amazing film as our way of honoring the memory of some of our industry's finest artisans and performers such as Stephen Goosson,” said Tom Walsh, President of the ADG. “The atmosphere at our screenings is very casual and the audience of film enthusiasts, students, and colleagues from the film industry bring their love of film to the Q&A, which creates an atmosphere for some lively and entertaining discussions.”