The Futurological Congress is a 1971 science fiction novel by Stanisław Lem detailing the exploits of Ijon Tichy as he visits the Eighth World Futurological Congress. It discusses a Utopian future that may not be as perfect as it first seems.
The book formed the inspiration of Ari Folman's film The Congress which stars Robin Wright (as herself) as an aging actress who - as she is no longer being asked to perform - sells the movie rights to her digital image. She attends The Futurological Congress and sees many others in her image as they transform themselves into animated avatars. This mix of live action and animation did very well on the 2013 awards circuit - winning the best animated feature at the 26th European Film Awards - and is being released in the UK on August 15th 2014.
It should be a really interesting pairing. This is certainly not an example of the film trying to stay very close to the book. I'm excited to discuss how successful the translation of the book has been, and who knows, the movie may be better!
We'll meet again at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. Keep an eye out for the book on the table.
You can buy the book from Amazon or your local bookshop, and can see the movie in cinemas from August 15th. Don't wait too late to see it as it might not have a very long release schedule.
Here's the trailer and the movie website.
Happy reading and viewing!