Just one event last Tuesday, but it was a great one. I made my way to the Castro for Asian Dub Foundation performing their live score to George Lucas' art film sci-fi THX 1138. It had been nearly two decades since I had watched THX 1138. And I remembered it being good, and fascinating, and very sterile and cerebral. It's a dystopian sci-fi in a world built for efficiency where people are administered drugs to keep them calm and compliant and individual thought--and especially love--are strictly forbidden. Well, THX 1138 (Robert Duvall) goes off his drugs and escapes to the surface (sorry...spoiler alert...if you can say that for a movie that 46 years old.)
What Asian Dub Foundation gave it was a beating heart and turned it into something that hit me in the gut as much as in the mind. And I suddenly realized how very, very funny this movie is. THX's big crime is...drug evasion. He frequently stops for confession at state-run kiosks ("mass for the masses") which give pre-recorded encouragement that barely matches what he confesses. And the best joke, at the very end he escapes because...the pursuing police run out of budget. The world is so devoted to efficiency that it ends up being more efficient to just let him go. And then the ending...he's just standing on the surface, out of focus, with the setting sun behind him. A gorgeous scene, but leaves you wondering if he actually won anything.
Oh, and the best part is a lot of it was shot in the under-construction tunnels of the BART (which gets a thank-you in the credits) and then I hopped on BART home.
Running Time: 88 minutes
My Total Minutes: 425,973