Film Series

March 07 - April 25, 2009
The Future of the Past: Utopia/Dystopia, 1965-1984 The Future of the Past: Utopia/Dystopia, 1965-1984

Phyllis Wattis Theater

Presented in conjunction with the architecture and design exhibition Patterns of Speculation: J. MAYER H., this film series explores the rich cinematic history of imagining the future. Released from 1965 through the iconic Orwellian year 1984, these films present not-too-distant worlds that reflect extremes in the social, moral, and political trends of their time. These imagined tomorrows are more often dystopian than hopeful, with the world as we know it exhausted and collapsed. The resulting new architecture — glass domes, surveillance corridors, solitary structures — is the means of future survival and evokes a world of bleakness and sinister intent.

$5 general; free for SFMOMA members or with museum admission (requires a free ticket, which can be picked up in the Haas Atrium). Tickets are available at the museum (with no surcharge) or online. Double features: films offered on the same date are included in one ticket.


Buy tickets Westworld

Michael Crichton, 1973, 88 min., 16mm

Two people travel to a high-tech amusement park and choose a Wild West adventure for their fun vacation. But the computer system that runs the parks suffers a meltdown, and a rogue…

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Logan's Run
Buy tickets Logan's Run

Michael Anderson, 1976, 120 min., 16mm

By the year 2274, war has destroyed the surface of the earth, and the survivors seal themselves into a domed city. Logan is a police assassin whose mission is to hunt down…

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Soylent Green
Buy tickets Soylent Green

Richard Fleischer, 1973, 97 min., 16mm

In 2022 the population of New York is starving due to fading food sources. People survive off a product called Soylent until a detective finds out the awful truth about its…

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A Clockwork Orange
Buy tickets A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick, 1972, 136 min., 16mm

Kubrick's film, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, is a stunning visualization of the tale of Alex, a charming sociopath and his fellow "droogs," who revel in the…

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Fantastic Planet
Buy tickets Fantastic Planet

René Laloux, 1973, 72 min., 35mm
French, with English subtitles

This psychedelic science-fiction animation takes place on a planet where alien giants called Traags rule over the Oms, a tiny race of humanlike people. The film is a parable of…

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Buy tickets Stalker

Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979, 163 min., 35mm
Russian, with English subtitles

The Stalker is a man with a burdensome talent: he is the only one who can lead people to an alien terrestrial place known as the Zone, an area with the potential to fulfill one's…

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Buy tickets Alphaville

Jean-Luc Godard, 1965, 99 min., 35mm
French, with English subtitles

Private-eye Lemmy Caution travels to the outerspace city of Alphaville in search of Professor von Braun, an evil scientist who has created a computer that monitors the citizens'…

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Buy tickets Sleeper

Woody Allen, 1973, 89 min., 35mm

In this science-fiction comedy, an unsuspecting health-food store owner is frozen and brought back to life many years in the future and joins a rebel force to help assassinate the…

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Fahrenheit 451
Buy tickets Fahrenheit 451

François Truffaut, 1966, 112 min., 16mm

This adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic novel explores the extremes of censorship, centering around a society where all printed material is banned. Guy Montag, a fireman whose…

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Buy tickets 1984

Michael Radford, 1984, 113 min., 35mm

Based on George Orwell's seminal novel, 1984 takes place in about a totalitarian superstate ruled by Big Brother. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a malcontent who illegally…

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Image: Jean-Luc Godard, Alphaville (still), 1965; photo courtesy Photofest NYC