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Welcome to The Spread’s Futurism issue where we examine the future in, and of, film from sci-fi titans and turkeys to up-and-coming filmmakers and events.

This issue, we look to the horizon and think beyond the impending summer blockbusters that are coming to our screens, thinking about the future as a more abstract concept, and we found a lot to talk about.

Looking to the future of the industry itself, Savannah James-Bayly asks if the future of everything is queer with her examination of queer futurism in modern media before embarking on an even more personal piece as a producer, providing a checklist for all filmmakers to follow if they want to increase diversity in the future. Avery T. Philips then breaks down the importance of the female filmmaker in the industry today before we get a little more theoretical; asking if both of Ridley Scott’s Alien prequels, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, are actually sequels to Blade Runner (don’t forget to check out our review of Denis Villeneuve’s official sequel, Blade Runner 2049, too) and whether Simon Pegg had anything to do with creating the first anti-Brexit blockbuster. Then we hit the books to study the religion and philosophy of Disney’s Tron films,

The future isn’t all bright though, as we find out when we examine the awkward legacy and themes of Brad Bird’s ode to the future for Disney, Tomorrowland, and the worrying future of Hollywood in general that’s mapped out in Universal’s flop-tacular reboot of The Mummy.

Big sci-fi problems aren’t just for the big screen, though, as we also go in-depth into the response to one of the big Netflix controversies of the past six months with our examination of the critical response to Duncan Jones’ futuristic sci-fi Mute, trying to find out whether online films really are the future.

To that end, we’ve also got reviews for Netflix’s post-war gangster flick The Outsider and Alex Garland’s forward-thinking sci-fi Annihilation coming to the UK (and most of the world), rather controversially, via Netflix. Not to mention a break down of the War on Drugs commentary going on in Garland’s now-argued-to-be first film as director, Dredd.

If you do think that online streaming really is the next step then you’ll want to be checking out Emma Sturgis’ dos and don’ts for creating the perfect home cinema experience while, for an old-fashioned cinema experience with some new tricks, we’ve got Matthew Wilson’s take on Spielberg’s pop-culture parade vision of the future in Ready Player One.

Back on earth, we chat to the filmmakers who are making waves and forging futures in the film industry today. We talk with queer animation pioneer Kate Jessop about her acclaimed animated comedy web series Tales From Pussy Willow before discussing another hit comedy web series that’s staring down the barrel of its third series, Wimpole Street, with its creator and producer. Hannah Greenwood then chats to Lucifer and True Blood star Kevin Alejandro about making the jump from acting to directing while I ask prolific film critic Neville Pierce about the move from criticism to creating with his recently released collection of highly-praised shorts.

Keeping our eye on that horizon, we also chat to director Mike Booth and cinematographer Burak Oguz Saguner about the trials and tribulations of adapting the play Thirty-Three into a feature film. Matthew Spivack also sits down with ShortCourses@NFTS founder Peter Ansorge and Cinema Jam founder Jared Fryer to find out how the partnership between the two companies started and where it’s going next while we profile one of our many successful Cinema Jammers, producer Martina Silcock.

If you’re interested by the events and Bite-Size courses that Cinema Jam offers to help people working in the film industry then you may be interested to know that we have three of our hugely popular weekend courses coming over the next few months. On the 7th of April we’ll have Mick Audsley (Twelve Monkeys, Allied) teaching editing, then there’s Mark Foligno (The King’s Speech) and Gareth Wiley (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) on being a successful producer later that month with DOP Tony Pierce-Roberts BSC (The Remains of the Day, Howard’s End) imparting his knowledge on the 12th and 13th of May.

Our next Jam Session (an informal get-together for all our members with special guests and screenings) will be at Juju’s Bar & Stage in Shoreditch with speaker Nik Powell (producer of The Crying Game and former head of the NFTS) on April 23rd. Make sure to check our Facebook for all the updates. We hope to see you there!

 

Mark Birrell

Mark is the editor of The Spread as well as a copywriter, and lifelong cinephile, who received his bachelors in Film and Comparative Literature from the University of London. You can follow him on Twitter @markwbirrell

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

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