Visions of Dystopia - Thurs. June 2nd - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Visions of Dystopia, an evening of mind-bending 16mm short films - handpicked from the archive -  that transport us into alternate realities; be it the bleak future, or a dark and dangerous fantasy realm. 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. In De Overkant (1966), Belgian filmmaker Herman Wuyts brings us a bleak interpretation of a totalitarian society in which independence equates to death. A windless future society has one man dreaming of flying a kite, a dream that may lead to doom in the Canadian ultra-rarity Return of the Kitemen (1974). Nedeljko Dragić's Oscar-nominated Tup-Tup (1972) is a darkly-comedic animated commentary on the effects of urbanization from the legendary Zagreb animation studio. Plus, 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, June 2nd, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


De Overkant (B+W, 1966)
This Belgian short made by Herman Wuyts is a bleak and shocking look at an imaginary, but terrifying totalitarian civilization.  All people are forced to walk along the walls of the street, never looking at each other or the world beyond the walls.  As the hordes shuffle down the street - their hands brushing along the walls but never touching one another - one man dares to run into the middle of the street, where he is promptly gunned down.  As more men give their lives for the freedom of choice, the people attempt an uprising, that is quickly and bloodily dispensed with before the masses run back to the relative safety of acquiescence.

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. 00137 (Color, 1966)
Jan Habarta, prize winner at many festivals for his earlier films, created this brilliant commentary on the dehumanization of life in a technological world. The deceptively simple visual technique is remarkable in its ability to involve the emotions of the viewer without a word of dialogue. Into the cold, dispassionate atmosphere of a factory run by automatons comes a small red butterfly. Attracted by the little creature and concerned for its safety as it [flies?] perilously close to the giant presses, the workers show their first sign of human emotion. Aware that the/[line break] strictly organized environment, we find ourselves caught up in the agonizing suspense of the situation. The final fate of the butterfly [...] yet in no way unexpected, gives enormous impact to the theme of the film. Script, direction, and graphic design by Jan Habarta. Music by Eugeniusz Rudnik. Photography by Henryk Ryszka. Produced by Short Film Studio, Warsaw.

The Return of the Kitemen (Color, 1974)
In a not-too-distant future society, the climate is entirely artificial, allowing for an absence of wind.  One man yearns for the days when he could fly a kite and is determined to show his son the simple pleasure, but in this society, kite-flying is considered self-centered, and is therefore illegal.  When a man (in the craziest future-get-up of the film) sees him playing, he calls the authorities and the man is carted off to an unknown fate. This Canadian ultra rarity is directed by David McNicoll and features some great psychedelic dream sequences.

Tup Tup (Color, 10 mins, 1973)
A short city symphony and free-jazz meditation on man’s seemingly limitless capability for destruction, Nedeljko Dragic’s Tup Tup takes as its inspiration Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Tell-Tale Heart” before spinning out in wild, surrealist arcs of improvisation. Produced by master animator Nedeljko Dragic for the highly-acclaimed Croat animation house Zagreb Film, Tup Tup tells the story of a disgruntled man who takes on the world to silence a pesky noise that keeps him from reading the paper.

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.

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 200 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.
About Oddball Films 
Oddball Films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world. Our screenings 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.