Visions of Dystopia - Thur. Feb. 6th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Visions of Dystopia, an evening of mind-bending short films that transport us into alternate realities; be it the bleak future, or a dark and dangerous fantasy realm.  Based on a Ray Bradbury story and directed by the legendary Saul and Elaine Bass, Quest (1984) is one boy's jaw-dropping journey to save an entire race before he outlives his 8 day lifespan.  West Coast experimental filmmaker Donald Fox’s exhilaratingly beautiful optical poem Omega (1970) deals with the end of mankind on earth through mind-bending visuals.  Chris Marker's enduring sci-fi experiment La Jetee (1962) utilizes still images to portray a post-apocalyptic world of time-travel, torture and lost love.  Polish director Jan Habarta's dystopian masterpiece No. 00173 (1967) will blow your mind with it's eery depiction of a grim, Kraftwerkian factory, momentarily brightened by a colorful butterfly. Trends (1967) is a light, animated interpretation of the possible ridiculous trends of the future by Oscar-nominated Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics. Plus, a surprise bleak futurist film from a juggernaut of science fiction, Post-Apocalyptic Trailers and early birds will be treated to three alternate versions of The Future (1980) and (spoiler alert!) they're all bad.  This imagined future's so dark, you better leave your shades at home.

Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117 


Quest (Color, 1984)
Saul and Elaine Bass directed this epic adaptation of Ray Bradbury's short story "Frost and Fire" about a boy who must set out on a journey to save his entire people before he grows old and dies, in 8 days.  This breathtaking fantasy marvel was Saul Bass' final film and showcases his incredible eye.  This rare gem is having its Oddball debut!  

About Saul Bass:

Saul Bass collaborated with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Otto Preminger, and John Frankenheimer, creating an astonishing body of iconic title sequences.  Among the most celebrated are those for Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northwest, Seconds, Man with a Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder, Bunny Lake is Missing, Casino, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Spartacus (though even this list constitutes less than a fourth of the total number of his titles).  Bass’s sequences realized the potential of the medium, transforming title sequences from obligatory lists of personnel into portholes that suck the viewer into the atmosphere of the film, announcing its style, mood, and often its themes, too.  These sequences didn’t merely supplement the films they served, they enhanced them, are essential components of them. 

Omega (Color, 1970)
An optical poem by West Coast experimental filmmaker Donald Fox this is a dazzling, highly original non narrative, exhilaratingly beautiful film. OMEGA deals with the end of mankind on earth, prophesying man's liberation from his earthly bounds to roam the universe at will. By sending an energy ray to the sun and harnessing its solar power, man is able to make an evolutionary leap. The film can be used to explore the outer limits of the concepts of death, evolution the afterlife, and the future of mankind. Phew! A source film that over 40 years later still inspires.

La Jetee (B+W, 1962, 28 min.) 
Chris Marker’s classic avant garde film. Earth lies ruined in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, in hopes of sending someone back to the prewar world in search of food, supplies, and hopefully some sort of solution to mankind's imminent demise. The protagonist is a man whose retention of a single, vague childhood memory (that of witnessing a murder on the jetty at Orly airport) is the basis for his being chosen to travel back in time. His journey leads him towards an enigmatic and paradoxical destiny.  The concept was later adapted into Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys.

No. 00173 (Color, 1969)
Rare and brilliant, this experimental film by Polish director Jan Habarta portrays a fictional factory with Metropolis-esque workers in radiation suits. In the midst of this grey atmosphere, one butterfly tries to arouse a touch of beauty.  

Trends (1967, Color)

Originally titled “Tendenciar”, this thought-provoking animated short was produced by the acclaimed Pannonia Film Studio in 1967. It was directed by Marcell Jankovics, the director of Hungary’s first full-length animated feature, as well as the Academy Award nominated short Sisyphus. Aside from a short introduction by a narrator, the film contains no spoken dialogue. Instead, it uses inventive images and music to speculate on the trends of the future—possible future trends in anatomy, human sexuality, communication, and other futuristic predictions are depicted.

For the Early Birds:

Future (Color, 1980) 
Future is a juggernaut-like montage of image and audio of three dystopian visions of the future. Never ending technological innovations for those that can afford them, a trashed and ruined environment, nuclear war and nuclear accidents lead to a future that I can’t wait to explore.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.