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Sat-Sun, Jun 12-13 | Thu, Jun 17


  • Dir. Cyril Hume
  • USA
  • 1956
  • 98 min.
  • G
  • DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Science On Screen 2021.

A spacecraft travels to the distant planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a group of scientists sent there decades earlier. When Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his crew arrive, they discover only two people: Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter Altaira (Anne Francis), who was born on the remote planet. Soon, Adams begins to uncover the mystery of what happened on Altair IV, and why Morbius and Altaira are the sole survivors. While this CinemaScope and Eastmancolor science fiction delight is technically a rough adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it is perhaps more notable for its influence on Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, its iconic Robby the Robot, and its first-of-its-kind entirely electronic musical score.

Part of the Belcourt’s annual Science on Screen® series, a national initiative made possible through a grant by the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation — and tied directly to the Belcourt’s ongoing education and engagement programs.

Sat, Jun 12 at 12:45pm: Post-screening Zoom with electronic film composer Drum & Lace. Click here to BUY TICKETS

“Technology, Synthesis, and Film Scoring”

About the speaker:
Drum & Lace, aka Sofia degli Alessandri-Hultquist, is an Italian composer and performer that creates music for film and media. Raised in Florence, she received her undergraduate degree from Berklee College of Music (Film Scoring & Composition) and a master’s degree (Music Technology & Composition) from New York University.

Melding together sampled field recordings, chamber instruments and lush layers of synths, she creates densely textural and beat-heavy music, drawing extensively from film music, music concrete and modern electronica. Her ambient and chamber work also gathers inspiration from nature and natural sound, as well as the juxtaposition of unlikely sounds with one another. In her composition work includes writing for various mediums, including film, television, dance, theater, fashion events and advertising.

She has scored the HBO documentary “At The Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal” (dir. Erin Lee Carr) and Netflix’s “Deadly Illusions” (dir. Anna Elizabeth James) — as well as upcoming films “Night Teeth” (dir. Adam Randall, Netflix) and “Cobweb” (dir. Samuel Bodin, Lionsgate). Television credits include AppleTV+ Original Series “Dickinson” (created by Alena Smith) and season 3 and 4 of NBC “Good Girls” (created by Jenna Bans and Bill Krebs).

Drum & Lace’s performances often include elements of spatial audio and multimedia. Some of these include The Echo Society VI: Family (Los Angeles, CA), National Sawdust’s Digital Discovery Festival 2020 (virtual), Quadraphonic Live at L.A. Central Library’s Taper Auditorium with Suzanne Ciani (Los Angeles, CA), and Moogfest 2019 (Durham, NC).

“Fasten your seat belts, fellows. Get those space helmets clamped to your heads and hang on tight, because we're taking off this morning on a wonderful trip to outer space… This fanciful interstellar planet, which has been dreamed up at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and put on the screen in Eastman color and properly spacious CinemaScope, is the gaudiest layout of gadgets this side of a Florida hotel. It offers some of the most amusing creatures conceived since the Keystone cops. Best of the lot is Robby, a phenomenal mechanical man who can do more things in his small body than a roomful of business machines.” Bosley Crowther, New York Times (May 1956)

“Even as the [science fiction] clichés fall fast and heavy, this is great to look at, thanks to the sumptuous MGM sets and the fine animation and matte work by Walt Disney Studios.” Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader