Monsters From the Id

Monsters From the Id

Documentary Feature, Spotlight Premieres
D: David Gargani

The 1950s: a good decade for suburbia, sock hops, and sitcoms, a better decade for irradiated beasts and bug-eyed invaders from beyond. Hardly a week went by without some alien or mutant menace wreaking havoc on the USA, and David Gargani's doc revisits this heyday of science-fiction creature features with choice clips from 30-plus films – the good, the bad, and the cheesy. Ultimately, though, Gargani is less interested in the monsters or what they personified for commie-phobic, atomic-anxious Americans than in their square-jawed scientist heroes inspiring a generation of wide-eyed, popcorn-munching youngsters to take up careers in chemistry, physics, and, yes, rocket science. He veers away from Hollywood's imaginative fear-mongering to focus on NASA engineer Homer Hickam as a case study for this idea, which, while intriguing, dampens the documentary's fun factor. It brings us back to earth after a thrill ride to the stars on a wild, weird flying saucer.

Wednesday, March 18, 11:30am, Austin Convention Center; Saturday, March 21, 2pm, Alamo South Lamar

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Monsters From the Id, David Gargani

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