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Far, Far Away, and Yet So Close: Science Fiction in San Francisco 

Wednesday, Dec 16 2015
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This right here, this is how you do counterprogramming:  Far, Far Away, and Yet So Close: Science Fiction in San Francisco  features five sci-fi movies shot and set in town (to varying degrees). Facing off against the premiere of  The Force Awakens  is Leonard Nimoy's 1986  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, known to the general public as "that one I liked with the whales," in which the fugitive  Enterprise  crew travel back in time to 1986.  The Voyage Home  was co-written by Nicholas Meyer — whose 1979 directorial debut  Time After Time  went the other direction, sending Malcolm McDowell's H.G. Wells forward to the 1970s to chase Jack the Ripper. Of special note is George Lucas's 1971 debut feature  THX-1138, a techno-dystopia shot in then-unfinished BART tunnels and other subterranean San Francisco landmarks. Since Lucas had to go and bukkake CGI all over it in 2004, the Roxie will be showing the hella-analog 1977 theatrical version, sourced from the 1991 LaserDisc. Also playing is one of Joe Dante's underappreciated 1987  Innerspace, in which a de-bigulated Dennis Quaid makes his way through Martin Short's body. And the jury is still out on the Wachowski's 2012  Cloud Atlas, but one of its multiple timelines is a well-realized 1973 San Francisco, so it has that going for it.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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