By turns hilarious, informative, and deeply troubling, this thrillingly ambitious cinematic essay tracks the evolution of the recorded image from photography’s inception to our current, content-obsessed era. Moving nimbly from the earliest innovations of the Lumière Brothers and Georges Méliès to the mass adoption of new technologies like smartphones and the explosion of social media, FANTASTIC MACHINE brings together the entire history of recorded images into a coherent and rigorous symphony of mind-expanding visuals. Particularly attuned to the absurdities of our present moment, FANTASTIC MACHINE wittily links a barrage of seemingly disparate clips—from TikTok dances to ISIS propaganda bloopers—in a way that perfectly evokes the disorientation of online life. In a brilliantly self-reflexive move, the film holds a mirror to our camera-saturated society, making contemporary culture feel astoundingly alien and forcing viewers to think more deeply about the contexts of the images we consume.
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
CLICK HERE to return to the complete 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival schedule.