Book and Film Discussion: The (Futurological) Congress

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!

Kx

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  • Susie N.

    How about the The Reader by Bernard Schlink? I loved the book, although have heard the movie was disappointing. As I type this I'm just realising that the idea is probably to pick a movie currently showing in Cambridge. Which would be sensible.

    September 10

  • Kirstie

    Fantastic discussion everyone! Thanks for coming :)

    September 9

  • Djamila le P.

    I'm really sorry not to have been able to attend tonight. Read the book, saw the film, but left work too late, just missed the bus and, looking at my watch, gave up and unpacked some more moving boxes instead. I hope you all had an interesting discussion and hopefully until next time.

    September 8

  • Linda

    Very sorry Kirstie et al, I haven't been feeling too well today so I am not going to make it, ...and after having read the book and seen the film! Pretty wierd! Really going to miss the discussion.

    September 8

    • Kirstie

      Feel better soon Linda! Sorry you can't make it.

      September 8

  • Kirstie

    Just a very last minute notice - I have to attend a meeting today that is scheduled to finish at 7pm but may run late. If it does then I might be a little late to the Arts Picturehouse but I really hope that you can all still come along and chat amongst yourselves! I'll be as quick as I can :)

    September 8

    • Vicky

      Same thing, have a meeting till 7 so will get there as soon as possible

      September 8

  • Susie N.

    I was going to come but I hadn't read the info and I made an assumption that we would be viewing the film this evening. As I haven't read the book I'll leave it to the next meeting and get properly engaged then. Thanks.

    September 8

    • Kirstie

      Thanks for letting us know Susie. See you next month :)

      September 8

  • Kirstie

    Hi everyone! A very last minute reminder to keep your RSVPs up to date please so we wait for the right people before starting the discussion.

    Also, please do come along if you haven't read the book or watched the film - they're very different and I'm very interested to hear our members describe each of them!!

    See you all tomorrow :)

    September 8

  • Greg

    Hope you enjoyed it, Vicky. I'm going to the 18:20 showing this evening (Wed), if anyone's interested in joining me.

    August 27

    • Vicky

      did you go?

      September 4

    • Greg

      Yes, and I ended up meeting up with Linda and George.

      September 4

  • Vicky

    So, have many been to see the movie?

    August 31

  • Vicky

    I'm going to see this evenings showing if anyone else like to come?

    August 25

  • Greg

    If anyone wants to go and watch the film at Arts Picturehouse as a group, let me know. It's only on this week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so we need to get in quick!

    http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Arts_Picturehouse_Cambridge/Whats_On/All/This_Month/

    August 24

    • Greg

      P.S. Just realised I can only do 10:20 Monday or 18:20 Wed!

      August 24

  • Fiona

    I've read the book, I've seen the film, I'm ready to go!

    1 · August 24

7 went

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