A N I A R A
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The concept of space travel in storytelling has been with us since our ancestors first created an oral history of animals, people and objects moving across the night sky to explain the shifting constellations. Ever since, we humans have been incessant stargazers.
Premiering at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Swedish film ANIARA is a saga of human migration and survival created by necessity as our Earth is rendered uninhabitable. It sparks our curiosity and literally opens new worlds, featuring adventure, romance, and the role of artificial intelligence along with confrontation of the unknown.
With substantial intellectual and emotional heft, ANIARA is an engrossing drama in the tradition of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddysey and Tarkovsky's Solaris. With storyline roots going back sixty years, it is also a microcosm of the human condition, capturing the tenets of our culture and the importance of hope. Unspoken but omnipresent is the invitation for us to consider how we treat our own spaceship, Planet Earth.
Written in the 1950s, the origins of the story are fascinating, as is the life of its Swedish author Harry Martinson, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Worth reading: a survey of Martinson's life and works at Nobelprize.org and a discussion of Aniara and its incarnations at Wikipedia.
Director Pella Kagerman (TIFF interview here), gives us a film for thinking people, with one male and three female protagonists, led by Emelie Jonsson. The story is set in the not-so-distant future where humans, technology and space intersect, with unforeseen results. "Aniara" is also the name of the self-sustaining space vessel bound for Mars, with multitudes on board leaving behind the climate change catastrophes - floods, fires, famine and wars - that have ravaged their home planet.
Something goes wrong on the journey – the vessel is damaged by space debris, knocking out navigation and communication. As the inhabitants deal with the discovery that the spaceship may become their permanent home, the central character, MR (Jonsson), becomes the glue that holds things together, working in concert with MIMA, an artificial intelligence designed to enhance passenger well-being. With diminishing hope of survival the passengers learn how life becomes meaningless without a destination.
"There's a risk that ANIARA might become our future," director Pella Kagerman said at TIFF. "The questions the film addresses are extremely relevant today."
☀ ANIARA, directors Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja; 2018; Sweden/Norway; in Swedish with English subs.
Run time: 106 minutes. This film is Not Rated, we suggest "PG13" for adult themes.
☀ DATES & TIMES:
Friday, May 17, 7 PM
Saturday, May 18, 4 PM
Saturday, May 18, 7 PM
Sunday, May 19, 4 PM
Evenings: Venue opens at 6:00; seating at 6:30.
Matinees: Venue opens at 3:00; seating at 3:30.
the GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202.
☀ PARKING & DIRECTIONS:
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Ample parking at affordable rates — 1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters.
Other transport options include the Street Car, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, etc.
Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
Student/ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door — must show valid ID upon arrival.
Advance sale ends 3 hours before show time, tix thereafter available at the door.
☀ ADA ACCESS: Revamped and improved ADA access, with a direct path to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using walkers or wheelchairs should call ahead to let us know your screening date and time, (859) 957-3456.
☀ DINING & LIBATIONS:
It couldn't be easier — across the street from the Garfield, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks. General Manager Randy Procter is offering CWC patrons an inaugural 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol.
You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event. Discount valid only for the date of ticket.
Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert, or hang at the bar. Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm. Dinner reservations are recommended, call 513-954-8974. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.
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