The American Cinematheque presents a double bill of dystopian science fiction. CHILDREN OF MEN, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, is a brilliant piece of work set in a future world in which the human race is doomed to extinction when women cease to give birth. The highlight is an extended rescue-battle sequence filmed in what looks like a single take (actually pieced together digitally in post-production). NINETEEN EIGHT-FOUR is an equally dreary and depressing tale of big government oppressing the population; although very well done, the film suffers from the insertion of songs by the Eurythmics, whose techno-pop stylings (albeit good on their own terms) are at odds with the overall tone of the story.

Location: The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA

2006, Universal, 109 min, USA, Dir: Alfonso Cuaron
It is 2027, a dystopian future in which humans have lost the ability to procreate. Former activist Theo Faron (Clive Owen) embarks on a dangerous mission to transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary of sea-bound scientists in Alfonso Cuaron's revelatory science fiction meditation, heightened by the mesmerizing bravura of Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography. With Julianne Moore and Michael Caine.

1984, MGM/Park Circus, 113 min, UK, Dir: Michael Radford
John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton are lovers trapped in an oppressive police state who heroically fight against the all-powerful "Big Brother." Director Michael Radford's (IL POSTINO) adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel perfectly captures the book's deep sense of unease, and Richard Burton gives a great late-career performance as an evil but human government official.

Date: September 12, 2012, at 7:30pm

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