Future Imperfect at MoMA

A summer film series of the uncanny on screen is coming to the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA’s Film Curator, Josh Siegel, has organized screenings of 70 science fiction films which are set on Earth, with technology that is currently in use or is foreseeable in the near future. Each film questions what it means to be human. Films span 1901 to 2017, and include works that MoMA has preserved. The series runs from July 17 through August 31.

Titled “Future Imperfect: The Uncanny in Science Fiction,” the series includes three Sloan-supported films. Frances Bodomo’s short film AFRONAUTS, which she is currently developing as a feature, is about a group of aspiring astronauts in Zambia hoping to immortalize themselves by going to space. Lynn Hershman Leeson’s 2002 film TEKNOLUST is about three replicants who communicate with the world via a web portal, but who yearn for love. The film was screened as part of the Museum of the Moving Image’s Science on Screen series, followed by a discussion about asexual reproduction between the filmmaker and biologist Stuart Firestein. Michael Almereyda’s film MARJORIE PRIME features holograms that keep people in their old age company, reminding them of their past.

MoMA is presenting “Future Imperfect” in association with the Berlinale and the Deutsche Kinemathek-Museum für Film und Fernsehen. The 2017 Berlinale featured a retrospective section of 27 films called “Science. Fiction. Film.” It was covered by Science & Film. Some of the films from that section are included in MoMA's series including Hans Werckmeister’s expressionist silent film ALGOL, TRAGEDY OF POWER, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s incredible television series WORLD ON A WIRE.

For more, read Science & Film’s interview with curators from the Deutsche Kinemathek about an exhibition on themes of space, the future, and the other in science fiction film. Stay tuned to Science & Film for coverage of “Future Imperfect."