Tue, 02 Aug|
Ticket includes a pre-recorded introduction from critic and author Steven Shaviro and DJ sets after the screening.
Time & Location
02 Aug 2022, 19:00 – 23:00
London, Juno Wy., London SE14 5RW, UK
About the event
Cinema Rising is proud to present Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's 2009 Gerard Butler vehicle Gamer, a film that has provided a uniquely prescient look at our new reality.
In the throes of a national lockdown, me and my brother bunkered down in a remote location with a pile of blu-rays and secondhand books to distract from the apocalyptic vibes outside. Intrigued by Steven Shaviro's chapter on the film in his book Post-Cinematic Affect, we watched Gamer, as part of a personally curated season of titles exploring our relationship to technology and reality (other films watched during this period: Demonlover, Strange Days, Videodrome, Dark City, and eXistenZ).
Fantasising about a future where we might once again attend an event in person and enjoy a night out with a crowd, a dream was born. What if we screened Gamer, asked Shaviro to introduce it, and ended the night with music reflective of the film's hyperactive aesthetic?
Well, over a year later, we're doing it. On August 2nd at Bermondsey's Avalon Cafe, you can see Gamer, complete with a recorded intro from Shaviro and DJ set post-screening from our friend Badger.
Captured with Neveldine and Taylor's signature frenetic style, Gamer anticipates our present moment without ever deviating from the duo's primary goal of delivering a sci-fi actioner shot in the style of a videogame. The film is set in the near future, where the world is obsessed with two virtually augmented reality games created by demented tech overlord Ken Castle (a hammy, but very fun Michael C. Hall). One is called Slayers, in which players hijack the minds of death-row inmates, forcing them to participate in first-person-shooter-inspired death matches based on the flimsy premise that they might survive thirty games and earn their freedom. Butler plays Kable, who, having won twenty-eight games, is intent on blasting his way to liberation to reunite with his wife Angie (Amber Valleta) and their daughter. In her husband's absence, Angie has found work in another VR/mind-control game called Society, a bubblegum-coloured Sodom and Gomorrah where the socially maladjusted steer the bodies of the underclass into glitchy, humiliating sexual encounters.
Stylish, gruesome, and strangely moving, Gamer has found a "second-life" in recent years, due to its crass, yet insightful exploration of how technology is used by elites as a tool of both distraction and outright oppression. Perhaps only a film as grotesque and brutal as Gamer could ever do justice to the unrelenting grimness of our brave new world. As Michael C. Hall says (for real) in the film "We live in society".
We can't wait. See you there.
Film Starts: 7:45
Film Ends: 8:15
Music: 8:15 onwards
Post-Cinematic Affect, Steven Shaviro
Shaviro's 10,000 word treatise on Gamer