Thoughtful science fiction films that tackle the relationship between humans and technology, playing each Saturday night throughout August on SBS Viceland.
SBS Movies

5 Aug 2017 - 8:11 PM  UPDATED 14 Aug 2017 - 12:28 PM

Saturday 5 August

Ex Machina


United Kingdom, 2015
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Corey Johnson
What's it about?
An award-winning and critically acclaimed psychological thriller, from acclaimed writer and director Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later), Ex Machina is a chilling vision of the not-too-distant future of artificial intelligence. In the mountain retreat of a gifted internet billionaire (Oscar Isaac), a young man (Domnall Gleeson) takes part in a strange experiment: testing an artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl. But the experiment twists into a dark psychological battle - a love triangle, where loyalties are torn between man and machine.

Ex Machina review: A stealthy gender inquiry

Soylent Green


United States, 1973 
Genre: Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Charlon Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly, Edward G. Robinson
What's it about?
Academy Award winner Charlton Heston stars as Thorn, the last honest detective on the undermanned police force in New York, 2022 AD, who investigates the brutal member of a prominent member of the Soylent Company, manufacturers of artificial nourishment. During the course of his probe, Thorn discovers the horrifying main ingredient of the mass-produced food. Caught between personal integrity, the quest for justice and knowledge that could lead to the death of millions, will Thorn expose the deadly secret?

Saturday 12 August



United States, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Language: English
Director: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt
What's it about?
In future Los Angeles, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man who has had his heart broken. He makes money composing intimate letters for other people. He uses his savings to invest in a personalised computer operating system called Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), who is designed to meet his every requirement. Theodore and Samantha have a fulfilling life together, serving each others needs but over time, their relationship develops and deepens, becoming more complicated that anyone could have predicted. Winner of the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Her: review
Her: Spike Jonze interview
The broad cultural footprint of icon Spike Jonze

The Future


United States, 2011
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Miranda July
Starring: Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky, Miranda July
What's it about?
Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) live in a small LA apartment, have jobs they hate, and in one month they’ll adopt a stray cat named Paw Paw. Like a newborn baby, he’ll need around-the-clock care – he may die in six months, or it may take five years. Despite their good intentions, Sophie and Jason are terrified of their looming loss of freedom. So with just one month left, they quit their jobs, and the Internet, to pursue their dreams – Sophie wants to create a dance, Jason wants simply to be guided by fate. But as the month slips away, Sophie becomes increasingly, humiliatingly paralysed. From Miranda July, writer-director of 2005's Me and You and Everyone We Know.

The Future Review

Saturday 19 August



United States, 1987
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Crime
Language: English
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Peter Weller, Miguel Ferrer, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen, Ronny Cox
What's it about?
When a good cop (Peter Weller) gets blown away by some ruthless criminals, innovative scientists and doctors are able to piece him back together as an unstoppable crime-fighting cyborg called 'Robocop'. Impervious to bullets and bombs, and equipped with high-tech weaponry, Robocop quickly makes a name for himself by cleaning up the crime-ridden streets of violence-ravaged Detroit.

Is the spirit of the original 'Robocop' still alive?



Canada, 1999
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jude Law, Ian Holm, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Willem Dafoe
What's it about?
In the near future, a society exists in which game designers are worshipped as superstars and players can organically enter inside the games. Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is hip, aware, sexily alluring and utterly dedicated to her invention - a game system that taps into its users fears and desires and blurs the boundaries of reality. When anti-eXistenZialist fanatics with strange weapons attempt to assassinate Allegra, she is forced to flee. 

Existenz review: Cronenberg lightens up with playful body horror parody

Saturday 26 August

2001: A Space Odyssey


United Kingdom, United States 1968
Genre: Sci-Fi, Cult
Language: English
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood, Keir Dullea, Daniel Richter
What's it about?
Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece traces an expedition to the moon, Jupiter and beyond, and imagines the future evolution of humanity. A group of ape-like creatures - primitive humans - discover the use of bones as weapons in a quarrel over a waterhole. Jump forward 1000s of years, and an American expedition finds a mysterious black monolith - an obvious alien artefact - on the Moon. Another expedition is sent to Jupiter, where a second monolith has been discovered. But during the journey the ship's computer, HAL 9000, develops paranoia.

Academy buys '2001: A Space Odyssey' shuttle
2001: A Space Odyssey Review