“Back to the Future” @ FLMNH (July 28)
The Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Creative B” summer film series features entertaining science fiction films and roundtable discussions by scholars, scientists, writers, and artists.
This summer’s time travel series concludes with Robert Zemeckis’s 1985 blockbuster science fiction comedy Back to the Future.
Teenager Marty McFly is frustrated with his life in quiet Hill Valley, California, circa 1985. His girlfriend Jennifer is crazy about him but his siblings are irritating and his parents are a bummer: his mother Lorraine is a depressed alcoholic and his father George is a hapless nerd constantly bullied by his supervisor Biff Tannen. And Marty’s music career is going nowhere.
Then Marty’s manic, mad scientist friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, invites Marty to a demonstration of Doc’s newly-invented time machine, constructed from a modified DeLorean DMC-12 and powered by plutonium stolen from Libyan terrorists. The experiment is initially a success, then goes badly awry. Doc Brown is killed by the terrorists and Marty and the DeLorean are sent back to November 5, 1955, where there is no plutonium available to fuel a return trip. Marty must find the younger Doc Brown of 1955 – who is only a little less mad than his later self – and together they must discover a way to power the DeLorean so that Marty can return to his own time. But Marty’s future mother Lorraine Baines, in 1955 a pretty girl full of hope, has taken a shine to the new boy in town. Her affection for Marty threatens to derail the budding romance between Lorraine and George. If they don’t fall in love at the school dance they will never marry; Marty, his brother, and his sister will never have been born.
How can Marty and Doc find a way to return the DeLorean to 1985? How can Marty warn Doc of the terrible fate that awaits him in thirty years? How can Marty fend off his mother’s increasingly awkward advances? How can Marty help George to stand up to Biff and win Lorraine’s heart? How can Marty get… back to the future?
Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines/McFly, Crispin Glover as George McFly and Thomas Wilson as Biff Tanner. The highest-grossing American film of 1985, it won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Saturn Awards for Best Actor (Fox), Best Special Effects, and Best Science Fiction Film, and the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing, as well as receiving three additional Academy Award nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). In 2007, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in June 2008 the American Film Institute designated it as the 10th-best science fiction film. Back to the Future would be followed by two successful sequels and inspired an animated television series, several video games, and several theme park rides. Andrew Probert’s and Ron Cobb’s design of the DeLorean time machine is among the most celebrated props of modern science fiction film.
The evening’s events will begin with an open reception from 6–7 PM, featuring a custom-built, street-legal replica of the DeLorean time machine (complete with Flux capacitor and Mr. Fusion!) created by Terry and Oliver Holler.
The screening will be preceded and followed by a roundtable discussion featuring:
- Ian Breheny – Museum Operations Specialist at the FLMNH, and co-founder of the film series
- Terry Harpold – Associate Professor of English, Film & Media Studies at UF
- Terry and Oliver Holler – BTTF enthusiasts and members of Team Fox. The Hollers are creators of a custom-built, street-legal replica of the DeLorean time machine. They have driven the DeLorean to all 50 United States and 28 countries raising money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
- Mark Law – Professor of Engineering, Director of the UF Honors Program
- Tim Lawrence – Special effects artist and concept sculptor
Back to the Future is rated PG and is suitable for all audiences. The film includes infrequent, mild profanity. A few brief scenes of menace and bullying may be too intense for small children.
All “Creative B” events are free and open to the public.