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Posted On: 10 October 2015 05:11 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:54 pm

Doha Film Institute Presents ‘Spaceships in Cinema’ Film Screenings and Master Class Programme

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The Doha Film Institute is hosting a special programme of films and master classes that explore the representation of spaceships in cinema.

Since the early days of cinema, spacecraft have regularly featured in films of all genres. The Doha Film Institute’s screening programme from October 15 to 17 at Katara Drama Theatre will showcase a selection of films depicting spacecraft including Stanley Kubrick’s epic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, Yakov Protazanov’s ‘Aelita: Queen of Mars’, a Director’s Cut of Ridley Scott’s sophomore feature ‘Alien’, Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’ and ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ by Robert Wise.

Since the 1960s, major science fiction films have succeeded in pulling in large audience shares, and films of this genre have become a regular staple of the global film industry. Science fiction films have led the way in special effects technology and have been the medium of choice for playing out futuristic fantasies. To discuss the history of the genre and its increasing prominence, the programme will include a two-part master class with industry professional Richard Pena, Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University from 2pm – 5pm on the 16th and 17th October 2015 at the Katara Drama Theatre.

The master classes will offer a survey of science fiction in cinema, its evolution over the years and its relevance in today’s world with the advancements in modern technology. The first part will focus on the history of the genre while the second part will explore science fiction in contemporary cinema. Each master class will be illustrated with clips from a wide range of films.

One of the most important and beloved science fiction films ever made, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (UK,USA/1968) covers a wide range of the genre’s themes: space travel, the baseness of humanity, the failings of a utopian feature, artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life among others.

Heavily criticized by Soviet authorities at the time of its release Yakov Protazanov’s ‘Aelita: Queen of Mars’ (USSR/1924) explores human relationships with its complex take on politics, its stripped down sense of science fiction and its stunning constructivist set design.

Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien (Director’s Cut)’ (USA, UK/2003), a hit with critics and a world-wide box office successstrikes the right balance of horror and sci-fi. The film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and spawned three sequels, the recent prequel ‘Prometheus’ and an upcoming sixth addition to the franchise.

‘Solaris’ (USSR/1972) by Andrei Tarkovsky is a brilliant and moving treatise on the difficulty of communication, not only between sentient beings of different species but among all of humanity. Widely considered to be among the greatest films in the history of cinema, ‘Solaris’ tells the story of a group of cosmonaut scientists whose mission is to examine a remote and sentient planet.

Robert Wise’s ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture ’(USA/1979) is one of the most exciting moments in the history of motion pictures for the legions of fans of the beloved USS Enterprise. The colossal ‘Star Trek’ franchise includes several film and TV series. The franchise has long been celebrated for its humanistic and hopeful look forward to a more ethical and compassionate future for our species.

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