View your saved tickets

DCA Archive

Artist's Choice Screening: Mars Attacks!

"This cinema programme is designed to complement and extend on the shonky qualities of the exhibition within moving image; the works I have chosen often employ stop-frame animation, odd stylistic clashes and amateurish performances that charge the films with real charm and magic." John Walter

Affectionately harkening back to the deadpan sincerity of such '50s and '60s science-fiction films as The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the World, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! is pure fantasy fun. Flying saucers have been reliably seen over the capitals of the world, and the whole world awaits with bated breath to see what will transpire. Among those waiting is the President of the United States (Jack Nicholson), who is assured by his science advisor (Pierce Brosnan) that the coming aliens are utterly peaceful. This advice is hotly contested by the military (led by Rod Steiger), who advises the President to annihilate them. When the aliens land, they are seen to be green, garish, and very cheerful. But appearances prove deceiving when the "friendly" aliens abruptly disintegrate the entire U.S. Congress. Hollywood notables appear in vast quantities in roles (and sub-plots) of all sizes in this zany feature.

Dir: Tim Burton

USA 1996 / 1h48m / 12