Future Gate coming to Lucerna

New films, classics, and documentaries cover time and space travel and alien invasions

The fifth annual Future Gate Sci-Fi Film Festival will take place at Prague’s Lucerna Cinema from Feb. 15 to 18, and then move to Brno and other cities.

The festival has both recent films that have a cult appeal and classic films going back to the 1950s. The films have English and Czech subtitles, except for the marathon screening of the satirical series Kosmo, which is only in Czech.

There is also a concert by the Prague Film Orchestra of film music that it is already sold out.

The festival starts with How To Talk to Girls at Parties (Jak balit holky na mejdanech), loosely based on short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The film stars Elle Fanning as one of a group of aliens visiting a dodgy London suburb in the late 1970s. Nicole Kidman has a supporting role. It had mixed reviews, but it is quite funny if one goes in with the right attitude. Elle Fanning is particularly good as an alien trying to fit in with humans in the punk era.

Other recent films include the Russian space film Salyut-7 (Saljut-7) and the Polish futuristic drama The Man With the Magic Box (Muž s magickou krabičkou).

Back in the Cold War era, the Russians lost control of the Salyut-7 space station, and it threatened to crash to earth. The only hope to save it is to send a new crew on the riskiest space mission ever attempted. Reviews have called this true story “harrowing” and “an edge of the seat experience.” it has been compared to Apollo 13.

The Man With the Magic Box takes place in 2030 in a dystopian future, with an amnesiac janitor who searches for his identity. Some time travel back to Stalinist times is involved. Critics noted its influence from works by Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg, and Andrei Tarkovsky.

There are also two documentaries. Bugs (Brouci), a film about the food of the future, and Amateurs in Space (Amatéři ve vesmíru) following the efforts of two Danish people to build a low-budget rocket.

Classic Eastern bloc films in the festival are Karel Zeman’s 1958 highly stylized The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Vynález zkázy) and the truly bizarre 1983 Polish comedy Sexmission (Sexmise), which will be screened in a Czech dubbed version with English subtitles.

Big-budget sci-fi classics are Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Terminátor 2: Den Zúčtování), the James Cameron film with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and The Fifth Element (Pátý element), the semi-comical space epic by Luc Besson, starring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich.

There is also a package of short films.

Two kinds of festival passes are available at the Lucerna box office. Neither includes the sold-out concert. But one comes with a T-shirt

For more information visit futuregate.cz/en/programme or www.facebook.com/futuregatefestival

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