Previously at the ICA - Films

Remote Control: To Die For & The Truman Show

14 Apr 201215 Apr 2012

The Truman Show

An exceptional film from the director of Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Truman Show is an unusual, amusing and clever commentary on a world which lives vicariously through television.

Truman Burbank lives the perfect life, with a perfect wife and perfect neighbours, but unbeknownst to him his perfect world is in fact a huge television studio, and he is the star of the most successful TV show ever. Since birth Truman has been followed by thousands of hidden cameras, recording his every move and broadcasting it 24 hours a day to an enraptured audience.

Recently chosen by film critic David Thompson as his favourite film, this beautifully constructed and visually stunning film predicted the wave of reality TV that would come to dominate our TV screens, starting with Big Brother in 2000.

Dir: Peter Weir, US, 1998, 103 mins, PG cert
Cast: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

To Die For

“In our fast-moving computer age, it’s the medium of television that joins together our global community.”

When an NBC executive (George Segal) utters this now very quaint sounding line at a broadcasting conference in Gus Van Sant’s 1995 film To Die For, Nicole Kidman’s vicious, vacuous, and seductive Suzanne Stone listens with quiet, calculated intensity.

Suzanne is a weathergirl on a local TV station who longs to be a high-flying star on Network television. Determined to be taken seriously, she’ll kick out anyone in her way. She talks as if she’s already a famous TV broadcaster. She quotes People or US magazine articles that she’s remembered and believes them as fact. She marries local boy Tony Maretto, whose family are highly suspicious of her true intentions. Her ambition leads her to the local high school where she meets a group of young drop-outs. When her husband becomes a hindrance, she seduces one of the group, Jimmy (Joaquin Phoenix) and persuades them all to murder Tony.

A wickedly funny satire about the now-dying medium of broadcast television and the American obsession with fame. Witty, sharp and dark. Look out for the David Cronenberg cameo near the end.

Dir: Gus Van Sant, US, 1995, 107 mins, 15 cert
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck 

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