Directed by Ari Folman, drama, sci-fi, 120 min, eng subtitles, 16+
Written by Ari Folman
With Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jon Hamm
The film by Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) is based on Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Futurological Congress. In this novel, this internationally acclaimed science-fiction writer describes the chemical dictatorship of pharmaceutical companies. Folman added a new dimension to what once was an allegory of the communist era in Lem’s novel, by re-locating film’s action in the very centre of the entertainment business.
The Congress features Robin Wright, playing herself, who gets an offer from a major studio to sell her cinematic identity, meaning she’ll be numerically scanned and sampled so that her alias can be used without restrictions in all kinds of Hollywood films – even the most commercial ones that she previously refused. In exchange, she receives heaps of money, but more importantly, the studio agrees to keep her digitalized character forever young – for all eternity – in all of their films. The contract is valid for 20 years. The Congress follows Robin as she makes her comeback after the contract expires, straight into the world of future fantasy cinema.
‘In the post-“Avatar” era, every filmmaker must ponder whether the flesh and blood actors who have rocked our imagination since childhood can be replaced by computer-generated 3D images. Can these computerized characters create in us the same excitement and enthusiasm, and does it truly matter?’ (Director’s statement)
Screened in the framework of the “Stanislav Lem Film Retrospective” organised by the Ancien Cinéma Vianden.