TIME AND PLACE:

Doors: various

@ Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB

Tickets: £11 (£9 concessions)

www.riocinema.org.uk

Celebrate J.G. Ballard’s cinematic classics with an afternoon of cinema. Discounts available for multiple films!

Part 1:

Thirteen to Centaurus at 12:00
Donald Houston, James Hunter, John Abineri, Noel Johnson, Robert James.
A television adaptation of one of the Ballard short stories in which he takes a psychological problem and explores the minds of the subjects who are part of the testing process. Among the crew of a space station hurtling through space towards Alpha Centauri is 16-year-old wunderkind, Abel, a boy given to questioning every facet of his existence. Abel is aware that there is something beyond the limits of his perception, some vital key of knowledge that will explode the received worldview controlling life on the station but like the rest of the crew he is subjected to ‘subsonic’ instruction – brainwashing – which keeps their minds preoccupied solely with day to day existence… But there’s a twist in the tale of this disquieting and prescient piece of science-fiction.

Empire of the Sun at 13.15
Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson.
A rare occurrence indeed, but J. G. Ballard welcomed Steven Spielberg’s visualisation of the author’s autobiographical novel which was based on his life as a boy in Shanghai during the Second World War, his internment by the Japanese and the search for his parents. He once described the director as ‘an intelligent and thoughtful man’ and the film as one that ‘seems more truthful as the years pass, while ‘brilliant child actor Chrisian Bale uncannily resembled my younger self’ Ballard wrote in 2006. Indeed EMPIRE OF THE SUN, with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard is no simple hijacking of childhood memories, but a deeply moving and compelling tale of hope and survival against all the odds.

Part 2:

Fleshed Out at 16.00
An intense combination of sound and images from Gazelle Twin – composer, producer and performance artist Elizabeth Bernholz – whose live performance personas and electronic musical work have continued to gather critical acclaim since her 2014 album Unflesh. She has also declared a lifelong fascination with the work of J.G. Ballard. In FLESHED OUT, a collaboration with film-maker Esther Springett, even the most familiar of views trigger a threatening unease.

B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) at 16.15
One of electro-pop’s original pioneers, provides most of the soundtrack for this cut-up movie by Foxx and artist/designer John Karborn featuring typography design & animation by Jon Barnbrook. Inspired by the themes, influence and text of writer J. G. Ballard, it is described as ‘a film and sound seance manifesting J. G. Ballard neurones. Mobilised by ultracolour and inframusic, anatomised hallucinogenetics and proximity psychopathagens.’ Look out for bits of VERTIGO and THE THIRD MAN.

Crash at 16.45
This controversial adaptation of a 1973 novel is the perfect synthesis of the clinical imagination and warped visions of director David Cronenberg and writer J. G. Ballard. After he is involved in a car crash, a movie producer becomes strangely sexually aroused by crashes and fellow victims and discovers an entire sub-culture built around his obsession. Seen as lurid and gratuitous rather than moving and involving by reviewers and the local authorities which banned it at the time of its first release, CRASH remains a daring, challenging and courageous depiction of a psycho-sexual journey into oblivion. Ballard wrote his book to illustrate the connections between sex and technology- the ultimate postmodern melding of flesh and machine – and in Cronenberg he certainly found the one director who could take his theme to the final frontier of sexual expression.