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Museum of Art & Design Looks Back at the Future of the 1990s

Ghost in the Shell

Science-fiction cinema in the 1990s was a unique creature. CGI was starting to become more prevalent, but old special effects techniques like miniatures, matte paintings, and practical effects. The glitz and optimism of Star Wars was laid to rest by a 1980’s of Ronald Reagan, giving rise to a more cynical outlook on the future ahead. Now the Museum of Art and Design (2 Columbus Circle, NY, NY) is paying tribute to this unique era of sci-fi cinema with Plastic Futures and Premillennial Tensions. Running March 23 to April 18, Plastic Futures features seven films embodying the fear and allure of the future in the 1990s.

Mamoru Oshii’s seminal Ghost in the Shell, based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, offered an animated look at cybernetics and urban life that was unprecedented. Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days combined elements of virtual reality, the Rodney King riots, and noir murder mystery, while Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is a visual assault on the senses torn from the pages of Metal Hurlant. Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, a sequel to his 1989 art house cult classic Tetsuo the Iron Man, upped the scale and the effects from its predecessor with grotesque biomechanical body horror. The Mind's Eye and Beyond the Mind's Eye offered up some of the earliest experiments in all CGI storytelling, while Hackers attempted to bridge the gap between phone phreaking and speculative fiction into the computer era.

To learn more, go to:

Plastic Futures and Premillennial Tensions
March 23 - April 18, 2019

The Museum of Art and Design
2 Columbus Cir.
New York, NY 10019

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