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Strange Days

An extreme taste of reality. 

Year: 1995 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Showing as part of the (jokingly-named) chicks-in-charge season, Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days is a dazzling vision of the near future, in which ex-cop Lenny Nero (Fiennes) goes about selling "wires" - other people's experiences recorded via virtual reality - in a Los Angeles at the end of its tether. Described as Lenny the Loser and The Santa Claus of the Subconscious, Nero enjoys his work as a seller of experiences for the VR connoisseur - brilliantly demonstrated by the burglary replay which confusingly opens the film. He has, however, attracted some negative interest, and his girlfriend (Lewis) may be next on the hit-list...

Bigelow displays her usual panache for handling large scale action set-pieces (don't forget her brilliant sky-diving/surfing fest Point Break), and seems completely at home transforming the script of one-time-husband James Cameron (of Aliens and Terminator fame) into an eye-popping motion picture. Evoking some pretty serious issues, with its voyeuristic first-person rape depiction, Bigelow manages to prevent the action being bogged-down by complex argument-discussion or moral lecturing. Basically a big-budget snuff movie, Strange Days was one of those films which just seemed to vanish before anyone got a chance to go and see it. So, see it now, while you still can in the format it was intended for: the big, blow-your-mind screen.

Conrad Jarret

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Screenings of this film:

1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)