Paranoid Data – Strange Days on 35mm
** On glorious 35mm! **
“Cheer up; world’s gonna end in ten minutes anyway.”
Strange Days plunges us into a seedy neo-noir Los Angeles in the waning days of the 20th century. As New Year’s Eve approaches, violence between the increasingly militarized police and the city’s residents reaches a suffocating fever pitch.
Lenny Nero, a smut-peddler who sells other people’s recorded memories on the black market – be they robberies, sexual fantasies, or numerous other depraved acts that will grant a fleeting thrill – stumbles across the most vile disc of them all: a recorded act of horrific violence that not only threatens to put his former partner in danger, but unravels a deeper labyrinth of abused power within the LAPD.
Kathryn Bigelow’s neglected-upon-release film viscerally sums up an era of anxiety around technology, exploring how often the utopian promise of technology mutates to reflect our basest instincts and desires, and provides the means to establish and maintain power structures in new ways. In turn though, this film smartly explores how technological advancements can also become tools to dismantle and hold accountable abused forces of power. However complex these themes might be, Bigelow never strays too far from what she does best: action. Utilizing a particularly clever use of point-of-view cinematography and a healthy dose of blunt-force pulp, Strange Days nonetheless contains a haunting relevance few films of its peer group can claim.
** CONTENT ADVISORY: Strange Days contains scenes of violence, sexual and otherwise, that some may find disturbing **
Paranoid Data is a weekend-long offering of cult classics and FIVE rarely seen films that offer a small window into the ways in which technology, data, and the human body were thought to be affected and influenced by each other. Full program offerings and schedule below.