Michael Elliott/ 1968/ UK/ 105 mins/ Cert: 15
The first of two events exploring the work of singular and influential SF voices from the post war climate of the UK. Tonight focusses on British screenwriter Nigel Kneale, who, with his legendary ‘Quatermass’ series in the Fifties, introduced radical SF ideas to the British public through the then brand new medium of TV. Kneale conjured unique and exciting fusions of ghostly tales, SF thrillers, and Cold War paranoia, right through to the Eighties, infecting generations of post war viewers with his singular visions of an England teeming with hidden strangeness.
Tonight we’ll be screening “The Year of the Sex Olympics”. Made for the BBC’s Theatre 625 in 1968.
Skilfully exploring concepts of exploitation of the mass populace via the medium of TV, and the then futuristic concepts of reality television, “Olympics” perfectly captures Kneale’s distinctively bitter and twisted take on the future, albeit viewed through the charmingly quaint prism of the late sixties, managing to be both beautifully at odds with the present, yet startlingly prescient.
The screening will be introduced by the University of the West of England’s Mark Bould and Rehan Hyder. Look out in the bar for an exhibition of Kneale inspired comic art, an installation, DJs playing radiophonic oddities and more.
More info on “The Year of the Sex Olympics” here
Next month’s event will look at the work of J.G Ballard.