LACMA Kubrick Sidebar Goes 'Beyond the Infinite' with Director's Cut of Mike Hodges' 'The Terminal Man'

by Ryan Lattanzio
March 26, 2013 7:02 AM
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As a footnote to its ongoing Stanley Kubrick exhibit, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently hosting a series entitled "Beyond the Infinite: Science Fiction After Stanley Kubrick." The program gathers ten films that followed the seminal work of the genre, Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). (Check out all the vintage trailers for the series' films here.)

Programmed by assistant curator Bernardo Rondeau, LACMA's "Beyond the Infinite" kicked off last Friday with "Phase IV" (Saul Bass, 1974) and "Silent Running" (Douglas Trumbull, 1972). But one of the major highlights of the series is the director's cut of Mike Hodges' "The Terminal Man," the British filmmaker's 1974 adaptation of Michael Crichton's thriller novel about technology gone haywire.

Producer/director/actor Mike Kaplan, who worked at Warner Bros. during the development of "The Terminal Man," recently published an incisive mini-history of the film in The Huffington Post. "A searing indictment of medical and scientific arrogance," Kaplan writes, Hodges' controversial science fiction film stars George Segal as a violent, epileptic computer expert who becomes the subject of a terrifying mind control experiment.

Kaplan discusses the at-first-maligned film’s struggle for release and distribution, its rejection by film festivals and, also, its influence. Included is a typewritten letter from Terrence Malick, who wrote to Hodges saying among many praises, "your image makes me understand what an image is."

In a double-bill with George Lucas' 1971 debut feature "THX 1138," the director’s cut of "The Terminal Man" screens Friday, March 29th at LACMA's Bing Theater. Read about TOH's trip to the Kubrick exhibit here, and see trailers for more films in the series here.


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  • Anne Thompson | March 27, 2013 12:29 PMReply

    Crichton was a smart man of science who came up with superb plots but was a pedestrian writer and director at best. Westworld, Timeline, Sphere and First Great Train Robbery were bad, but The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Rising Sun, and Jurassic Park turned out ok, no? I never saw Terminal Man.

  • Brian | March 27, 2013 11:10 AMReply

    I saw THE TERMINAL MAN in a theater when it came out and I was so depressed afterwards that I stopped moviegoing for a few days (Back then, in my film student days, moviegoing was a daily habit.) It was one of the worst movies I'd seen up to that time. I was angry at myself for sticking with it and not walking out half-way through. Maybe it was a film for a more adult sensibility than I had back then. I don't remember anything about it, so I don't recall what I didn't like about it, aside from broad complaints about its slow pace and uninteresting plot and characters. The fact that Terrence Malick liked it is not what I'd consider a recommendation. Should I give it another chance? Maybe some day, if it comes on cable and I'm sitting in front of the set with nothing better to do. To be honest, though, I've never read a Crichton novel and have never liked a movie based on his books, with the possible exception of the non-sci-fi CONGO.

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