Carpenter Double Feature @ Guild Cinema

Weird Science Weekend at the Guild Cinema
John Carpenter Double Feature

Saturday & Sunday, March 19-20

STARMAN – directed by John Carpenter, 1984, 115 minutes.
Co-Presented with Bubonicon 43.
Showtimes are 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

One of Carpenter’s warmest and most beguiling film, and the only one that ever earned an Oscar nomination (Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges). Bridges plays an alien visitor to Earth who is knocked off course and must take an interstate road trip to rendezvous with a mothership from his home planet. To complete this journey he assumes the physical form of the dead husband of a Wisconsin widow (Karen Allen) who responds first with fear, then sympathy, and finally love. Carpenter’s graceful strategy is to switch the focus of this E.T.-like film from science fiction to a gentle road-movie love story, made believable by the memorable performances of Bridges and Allen. With the conflict of tenacious government agents who view the Starman as an alien threat, Carpenter handles the action with intelligent flair, sensitivity, and lighthearted humor.

THEY LIVE – directed by John Carpenter, 1988, 93 minutes.
Co-Presented with Bubonicon 43.
Showtimes are 4:15 pm and 8:15 pm

An economic crisis brings unemployed Nada (Roddy Piper) to L.A. in search of work. What he finds instead is that the ruling elite of the world are aliens in disguise – their aim being to keep humans in a state of mindless consumerism. His discovery comes when he dons a pair of special sunglasses made by a resistance group and sees for the first time reality unadorned. Billboards, store signs, magazine covers–all bear subliminal messages to OBEY, to CONSUME, to have NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT. Money itself says THIS IS YOUR GOD. But worst of all, with these glasses you see which of us are really hideous, bug-eyed aliens. The conceptual breakthrough is hilarious while keeping its roots in darker matters. The ending has a great payoff. And the direction by John Carpenter is handled with superb workmanlike aplomb. One of the most subversive films ever made in Hollywood, They Live was released on the eve of the 1988 elections.

The Guild Cinema is located at 3405 Central Avenue NE, in the Nob Hill area.

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