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Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Alex Garland. 2018, 115 mins. With Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac. In his sci-fi thriller Annihilation, writer-director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) envisions a haunting and beautiful landscape where DNA and biological processes do not abide known rules. A film that studios feared would be too complex for audiences, but which gained a cult following, Annihilation centers on an all-women team of scientists and military personnel who must go where men have failed before them to find the reason for this new uncanny valley. Annihilation was inspired by the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy. Variety called it a “rare feat of great genre cinema, where audiences are not merely thrilled (the film is both intensely scary and unexpectedly beautiful in parts) but also feel as if their minds have been expanded along the way.” Accompanied by essays by screenwriter and playwright Dorothy Fortenberry (The Handmaid’s Tale, Extrapolations) and by author and journalist Cal Flyn (Islands of Abandonment) about ecosystem collapse and how it has prompted creative envisionings of life in new landscapes. 

About the writers: 

Dorothy Fortenberry is a screenwriter and playwright. She is an executive producer of Extrapolations, an upcoming television series about climate change on Apple TV+. She has served as producer and writer for the Emmy Award–winning series The Handmaid’s Tale, and has also been a writer for the postapocalyptic science fiction series The 100. In addition to writing for television, Fortenberry has written several plays, including Partners and Species Native to California. Her essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Real Simple, and Pacific Standard. She is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, the 2021 laureate of the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters for outstanding work in the category of fiction writer or dramatist, and holds an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long-form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, about frontier violence in colonial Australia, was a Times book of the year. Her second book, Islands of Abandonment—about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places—is out now. It has been shortlisted for a number of prizes, including the Wainwright Prize for writing on global conservation, the British Academy Book Prize, and the Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction. Cal’s journalistic writing has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, The Economist, and others.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / Free or discounted for MoMI members. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.