On the 30th of July, a new cinema initiative will start a weekly free screening at the Vondelbunker. Jeffrey Babcock will kick off with a double-bill of The Atomic Cafe and The Incredible Shrinking Man.
First film starts at 20:30, second film starts at 22:00. Here are the eloquent descriptions of the films, courtesy of Jeffrey Babcock:
THE ATOMIC CAFE (1982)
Directed by Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty
Considered to be one of the most powerful and mind-blowing documentaries of all time, this offbeat film only matches Kubrick’s Dr.Strangelove in its scathing humor and absurdity. The only difference is that this film is true! A brilliant compilation of archival material, pop records, school instruction films and TV clips, this movie has absolutely no “contemporary” interviews or narration in it… the directors allow the actual material from the past simply to speak for itself. What a relief from most contemporary documentaries which are so uncreative, using all their talking heads as commentary to tell you what to think! This film cleverly has none of that.
By just compiling the real material from the past, the directors expose the mind-set of the the Americans in the 50s, which when seen today creates a bizarre black humor. Much of the material is actually government propaganda newsreels, which helps chart the history from the first atomic bomb explosions in the deserts of New Mexico to the dropping of the bombs on Japan, and the Cold War which followed. Along the way we also witness the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs, a Jewish couple who, like Manning and Snowden, were accused of leaking documents to the enemy (Russia) and executed. The result is both terrifying and darkly comic. And what’s even more scary is that so much of the mentality back then can be still seen alive and kicking in America even today! In the 80s this film became a huge cult classic, sometimes referred to as the “nuclear Reefer Madness.” This will be a rare European screening of this insane real-life document.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957)
Directed by Jack Arnold
This film, based on the imaginative story by Richard Matheson (who died yesterday), is a sci-fi classic and is considered to be one of the most innovative films to come out of the 50s. When Scott is out boating one afternoon, he encounters a mysterious radioactive mist. He feels a bit weird at first, though everything seems more or less fine… but then he begins to shrink physically in size. As he continues to shrink smaller and smaller, he finds himself at war for survival when ordinary household items become huge, and when things like the pet cat or an ordinary spider become giant monsters. An amazing and haunting film.