Doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 PM. Admission $20 / $15 for IHP members SCANNERS 1981 / 35mm / Dir. David Cronenberg / 103 min. Canadian director David Cronenberg already had an impressive resume by the end of the 1970s, including the modern classics SHIVERS, RABID, and THE BROOD. But it was 1981’s SCANNERS that really cemented Cronenberg’s reputation as a master of allegorical sci-fi/horror cinema. The story focuses on a group of telepaths—nicknamed “scanners”—who can control the thoughts and actions of others. Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) is the leader of an underground movement of scanners determined to thwart the mysterious corporation ConSec, which plans to use the telepaths for its own purposes. But ConSec has a secret weapon—a powerful scanner (Stephen Lack) who is tasked with stopping Revok’s plans for world domination. Also starring Patrick McGoohan and Jennifer O’Neill. THE DEAD ZONE 1983 / 35mm / Dir. David Cronenberg / 103 min. Despite the best of intentions, most film adaptations of Stephen King’s novels fail to live up to the source material. Fortunately, Cronenberg’s adaptation of THE DEAD ZONE is an exception to this rule, and stands with Kubrick’s THE SHINING and De Palma’s CARRIE as one of the best films based on the prolific author’s oeuvre. Christopher Walken stars in perhaps his best remembered role as Johnny Smith, a man who wakes up after a five year coma to find that he has developed the psychic ability to see the future. When he has a horrifying vision about popular political candidate Greg Stilson (Martin Sheen), Johnny must determine the lengths to which he is willing to go to change the future. NAKED LUNCH 1991 / 35mm / Dir. David Cronenberg / 115 min. Beat writer William S. Burroughs’s 1959 novel Naked Lunch is a hallucinogenic, stream-of-consciousness nightmare about drug addiction and sexual depravity, and famously led to Burroughs being charged and tried for pornography. It is also completely unfilmmable, but that didn’t stop David Cronenberg from writing and directing this remarkable movie. Rather than attempting a literal adaptation of the book—which would be a near impossibility—Cronenberg’s NAKED LUNCH merges Burroughs’s biography with some of the novel’s themes and images. What results is a wonderful hybrid of the aesthetics of two iconic artists. NAKED LUNCH follows Burroughs stand-in William Lee (the perfectly cast Peter Weller) as he deals with the apparent loss of his wife Joan (Judy Davis). The distinction between fantasy and reality becomes a blur as he travels to the mysterious North African territory of Interzone and encounters talking typewriters, human insects, and his dead wife’s doppelganger, among other oddities. Challenging and stunning, NAKED LUNCH is one of Cronenberg’s finest films, and one that should definitely be experienced on the big screen.
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