Roxie Theatre Sat, Feb 15, 2014 12:16 PM
Film Info
Director:Ari Folman
Film Category:Opening Night Film
Running Time:122
Year of Release:2013


"In The Congress, Robin Wright, playing a fictionalized version of herself, gets an offer from a major studio to sell her soul and cinematic identity so that she’ll be “scanned” and her digitalized alias can be used with no restrictions in all kinds of Hollywood films – even the most commercial ones that she previously refused. In exchange, she receives a massive financial reward, but most importantly, the studio can keep her forever young, for all eternity, in all her movies.

To say that Ari Folman’s The Congress has a lot going on is a massive understatement. It successfully presents an indictment of Hollywood’s age-old sexism and ageism while incorporating Stanislaw Lem’s somewhat accurate forecasting of a worldwide chemical dictatorship run by the leading pharmaceutical companies. Amazingly, Folman even manages to merge these ideas as Wright’s digitalized identity can be made into a drug, available for any fan, allowing them to see in their own minds any fantasy they can imagine.

Folman divides the film into thirds: two parts live action, one part animated, so that Folman, in his words, can “illustrate the transition made by the human mind between psychochemical influence and deceptive reality.” For him, this allows the freedom that animation can allow on “cinematic interpretation” and also provide a “cry for help and a profound cry of nostalgia for the old-time cinema we know and love.”

The Congress also stars Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti and Danny Huston and is the most subversive, surreal, metacinematic experience of this year’s fest. "(James Shapiro, Fantastic Fest)

-Kier-la Janisse

Plays with the short film:
Sol Friedman | Canada 2013 | 8mins. | Print Source: ArtBeast Productions

Sol Friedman follows up his brilliant Love Songs From an Android and A Message From Your Robot President with this iconoclastic blend of documentary, animation and action fantasy about an exasperated amphibious creature recalling the adventure that led him to a sushi restaurant chopping block.

After catching Ari Folman's amazing THE CONGRESS at the Brava Theater on Opening Night, stick around as San Diego's VOKAB KOMPANY (hip hop/EDM/live band featuring electric violin), local outfit GENE WASHINGTON AND THE IRONSIDES (Stax/Motown Soul with a capital "S") and DJ Junkyard (Litterbox) kick off this year's festival some super great fun tunes! Your first drink is on us!

The event features a full bar and is all ages.

Included Shorts