“Time After Time” @ FLMNH (July 21)
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 + H.G. Wells themes continue with Nicholas Meyer’s 1979 film Time After Time.
In 1893 London, unsuccessful journalist and inventor Herbert George Wells (that H.G. Wells) demonstrates his latest invention, a time machine, to a small group of skeptical friends. When Wells is distracted by the arrival of constables on the trail of a savage killer, one of Wells’s friends, surgeon John Leslie Stevenson, boards the time machine and escapes. Configured for a round trip, the device returns to its point of origin; Stevenson, however, has remained behind in the year 1979. Discovering that Stevenson is in fact Jack the Ripper (!) and feeling responsible for the Ripper’s escape, Wells follows him to 1979, hoping to find the killer and put an end to his monstrous career across two centuries. But the future is not the peaceful socialist utopia that Wells wrote about in his science fiction. Who is more at home amid the chaos, greed, and violence of the late 20th century, a bookish Victorian dreamer or a cunning, bloodthirsty madman?
Time After Time was the directing debut of screenwriter Meyer, who also wrote the screenplay based on Karl Alexander’s 1979 novel of the same name. It stars Malcolm McDowell (as H.G. Wells), David Warner (as John Leslie Stevenson/Jack the Ripper), and Mary Steenburgen (as the thoroughly modern Amy Robbins, whose romantic interest in Wells shocks his Victorian sensibilities). The film was nominated for multiple Hugo and Saturn Awards for Writing, Direction, Music, Dramatic Presentation, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Costumes, and Best Science Fiction Film, and won 1979 Saturn Awards for Best Writing (Meyer), Best Actress (Steenburgen), and Best Music (celebrated film composer Miklós Rózsa).
The evening’s events begin at 7 PM. 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
- Amy Kinsey is a Chemist with the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory at the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at UF
- Mark Law – Professor of Engineering, Director of the UF Honors Program
- Tim Lawrence – Special effects artist and concept sculptor
Time After Time is rated PG-13 for brief episodes of intense violence, mild profanity, and a few sexual references. Some scenes of violence may be too graphic for pre-teen viewers.
On July 28, beginning at 7 PM, the series concludes with Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future (1985).
All “Creative B” events are free and open to the public.