Weekly Feature

2015-09-10 / Local News

Burchfield Movie Night to feature ‘Rollerball’

“In the future there will be no wars. But there will be Rollerball.”

“Rollerball” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, for “Movie Night” at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road.

“Rollerball” was director Norman Jewison’s science-fictional indictment of what professional sports entertainment had become by 1975. In a world controlled by totalitarian corporations instead of nation states, war, petty crime, poverty, and most importantly, individuality, have been abolished as such social conditions are not good for business.

Without war, the population needs an outlet for violent tendencies and so a new game has been devised. Reflecting the increasing violence that sports, in 1975, seemed to accept as just a part of the game, the game of rollerball is the logical outcome — fast-paced and ultra-violent.

When one athlete’s enormous popularity is regarded as dangerous subversion, plans are put into motion to remove him from the game. Rules are changed, computer files go missing, bribery is attempted, but the defiant athlete, played by James Caan, refuses to give in.

The director reportedly intended the movie to be anti-violence, but audiences so loved the action of the game that there was actually talk about forming rollerball leagues in the wake of the film, which horrified him.

Join members of the Burchfield Nature and Art Center on Thursday, Sept. 17 and see for yourself how much this 40-year-old vision got right or wrong in predicting the future. The free movie will be shown in the center’s classroom. No registration is necessary. Call 677-4843 for more information.

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