LAKE PLACID – The future is now in the sci-fi noir “Wetware.”
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts will screen “Wetware,” the latest movie from award-winning independent filmmaker Jay Craven of Vermont. Craven will introduce the film and hold a discussion afterward. The screening is Friday at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10.
“Wetware” is a sci-fi noir based on the book by Craig Nova and tells the story of down-on-their-luck people who submit themselves to genetic modifications to gain extra strength and stamina for jobs that nobody wants to do — slaughterhouse workers, toxic cleanup crews and deep-sea miners. One genetic engineer creates two superhumans and falls in love with the female. From there, trouble ensues as the couple and the engineer try to escape from a testing facility.
Though the film is an adaptation, Craven said he wanted to work on a sci-fi before he read the book. He was first intrigued by the idea of genetic testing after filming the documentary “After the Fog,” which focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers from multiple generations. At that time, he heard about a program that would eliminate PTSD by genetically modifying soldiers so that they’re less responsive to violence.
“That stayed with me,” he said. “I thought about this notion of humans who would be made better suited to an extreme situation like combat.
“What I came back to is that this idea isn’t too far off. This work is actually going on right now.”
Outside of military experiments, Craven said life in general is moving forward at a rapid pace.
“I just had an overwhelming sense that we are looking at the future now,” he said. “There was an article in the New York Times where the people of Australia say the country will never be the same.”
2020欧洲杯体育投注官网 Australia recently suffered from some of the largest bushfires on record, burning nearly 25.5 million acres.
“Their future is now in terms of climate and perpetual fire,” Craven said. “It’s a dystopian concept, but it’s what they’ve got to deal with.”
“Wetware” is a departure for Craven. Many of his previous projects were documentaries, comedies and dramas with a distinct sense of Americana.
Noir is a type of film genre that was popularized throughout the 1920s, 30, 40s and 50s. Noir films typically featured seedy bars, back alleys, cigarette smoke, hard drinks, mood lighting, tough private detectives and femme fatales — think Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil” or John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon.” The legacy was continued in films such as “Chinatown” and “L.A. Confidential.” In 1982, director Ridley Scott brought audiences one of the first mainstream examples of sci-fi noir in “Blade Runner.”
Though “Wetware” is a new genre for Craven, he said he likes seeing how many different film styles he can capture in the Northeast. “Wetware”2020欧洲杯体育投注官网 was filmed in Burlington and Brattleboro in Vermont and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
“My basic idea is that (rural Vermont) can be a place that can accommodate these various genres,” he said. “It’s been fun to mix it up and try different things. I’m experimenting with the notion of a north country cinema.”