Drafthouse Films Elects 'The Congress'

Release slate adds new adaptation of Stanislaw Lem sci-fi classic

Drafthouse Films gets animated with its newest acquisition, 'The Congress', starring Robin Wright and Paul Giamatti

Seem the folks at Drafthouse Films finally shook the last few items out of their holiday luggage from Cannes and found they'd acquired another film: Semi-animated sci-fi mindbender The Congress.

Starring Robin Wright (House Of Cards) Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Harvey Keitel Bad Lieutenant, Reservoir Dogs) and the goddam straight up genius of Paul Giamatti (Sideways, and our new favorite cult crush, John Dies At The End), The Congress is a headtrip mix of live action and animation. It's directed by Ari Folman, who is no stranger to mature movies with a dash of illustration (he did animate the Oscar-nominated Waltz with Bashir.)

Empire magazine has said The Congress "exists somewhere in the twilight zone between the existential brainteasers of Charlie Kaufman and the psychedelic wonders of Hayao Miyazaki." Empire needs a history lesson. This is adapted from The Futurological Congress by the big bad bone daddy of existential genre fiction Stanislaw Lem, the author behind the oft-adapted Solaris. In his original 1971 novella, Lem's repeated lead character Ijon Tichy falls out of a political conference into a drug-addled future where chemicals gloss over the environmental apocalypse. The Congress adds digital media to the mix, as an aging actress (Texas Film Hall of Fame-r Wright) sees herself replaced by her computer simulacrum. If the drugs and technology are good enough, can anyone tell the difference? And what does that mean reality?

Expect a US release in 2014 on VOD/digital and theatrical.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Drafthouse Films
Fantastic Fest Wave Three
Fantastic Fest Wave Three
Multiple monsters, sequels, and regulars (and RZA)

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 7, 2016

Fantastic Fest Snags <i>Arrival</i>
Fantastic Fest Snags Arrival
The Handmaiden, Sadako vs. Kayako in wave two

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 25, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
Nightstream Review: <i>Honeydew</i>
Nightstream Review: Honeydew
Keep an ear open for this new tale of backwoods malice

Oct. 19, 2020

Nightstream Review: <i>Anything For Jackson</i>
Nightstream Review: Anything For Jackson
The love of grandparents rips the doors off Hell

Oct. 17, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Drafthouse Films, The Congress, The Futurological Congress, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Ari Folman, Stanislaw Lem

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle