Irish Film Institute -Futures Past

Futures Past


The IFI and Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin present Futures Past, a season of classic science-fiction films paired with guest speakers, scientific experts in their field, that will consider how cinema of the past has imagined our future.

From the earliest days of cinema, filmmakers have used the medium as a tool for prediction and social commentary, exploring contemporary anxieties through visions of often dystopian futures. The films chosen for this season speak to social, political or geographical debates as part of their speculative futuristic narratives. The issues they raise, such as population growth, ecological destruction and climate change, pressing in their own time, are now matters of great global concern.

Futures Past aims to assess just how prescient these filmmakers were, to explore the accuracy of their visions, and to take the measure of how relevant the themes expressed remain today. For example, with nanotechnology now a reality, perhaps the advanced medical procedures of Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage are not as unlikely as they must have seemed in 1966? The deep space travel of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (screening from a glorious new 70mm print) now seems within our grasp. On a more sombre note, our poor stewardship of the earth lends Silent Running the air of inevitability.

We hope these screenings, framed within a scientific context, will open a dialogue about representations of science on film and ask pertinent questions about where the human race may be heading.

Introduction and film notes (unless otherwise stated) by David O’Mahony.

Futures Past is a collaboration with Science Gallery Dublin


The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland