Irish Film Institute Presents Dark Skies: Man Vs Machine

The IFI has announced its third Dark Skies season, which this year will run from June 8 to 30, and will have Man vs Machine as its theme.

The season will be headlined by James Cameron’s action epic Terminator 2: Judgment Day, screening on 70mm on Saturday 15. The Wachowskis’ masterpiece The Matrix will screen in a new 4K restoration on Saturday 29.

Commenting on this year’s season, IFI Head of Cinema Programming David O’Mahony said, ‘The rapid development and integration of automation, information and bio-technologies offers seemingly limitless opportunities in all aspects of our public and private lives. But at what cost? This year’s Dark Skies season explores how the science fiction genre since the 1970s has responded to our ambiguous relationship to the machines we have created.’

The season opens on Saturday 8 with Michael Crichton’s 1973 thriller Westworld. The film stars Richard Benjamin and James Brolin as two friends who visit a highly realistic adult amusement park, only to find themselves pursued by an implacable killer android (Yul Brynner) when the park suffers a number of technical malfunctions.

On Sunday 9, Bryan Forbes’s iconic The Stepford Wives will screen on 35mm. With a cast led by Katherine Ross and Paula Prentiss, the film focuses on two women as they try to unravel the mystery of the obedient and submissive behaviour of the town’s wives. The film was adapted by William Goldman from Ira Levin’s (Rosemary’s Baby) novel.

Another classic to screen on 35mm will be Donald Cammell’s 1977 chiller Demon Seed, starring Julie Christie as a woman imprisoned by a malevolent computer determined to conceive a child with her. The film will show on Sunday 16. Isabella Willinger’s documentary Hi, A.I on Thursday 20 follows two people, one in the US and the other in Japan, who rely on robots for companionship. This intriguing film raises important questions as to the role artificially intelligent robots will play in our future.

Also scheduled to screen are Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s 1992 horror sequel Tetsuo II: Body Hammer on Saturday 22, Jonathan Frakes’s fan favourite Star Trek: First Contact on Sunday 23, while Steven Spielberg’s epic Oscar-nominated fantasy A.I. Artificial Intelligence will close out the season on Sunday 30.

Tickets for Dark Skies: Man vs Machine are now on sale here and from the IFI Box Office. A multi-pass ticket for four films, excluding Terminator 2: Judgment Day 70mm, is available for €37 directly from the IFI Box Office. Tickets for the 70mm screenings cost €14.50. The screening of The Matrix is presented in association with Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon.

For the full line-up, see below.


Saturday 8th (15.30) – Westworld
Sunday 9th (15.30) – The Stepford Wives
Saturday 15th (20.20) – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (70mm)
Sunday 16th (18.20) – Demon Seed
Thursday 20th (18.30) – Hi, A.I.
Saturday 22nd (18.30) – Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Sunday 23rd (15.30) – Star Trek: First Contact
Saturday 29th (20.20) – The Matrix
Sunday 30th (15.00) – A.I. Artificial Intelligence

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