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Film 50: History of Cinema

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
3:10 p.m. Splice
Vincenzo Natali (Canada/France, 2009)

The classic monster film gets a deliciously sadistic twist in Vincenzo Natali’s contemporary dissection of the genetic engineering dilemma. Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are young, brilliant, and ambitious. The new animal species they engineered has made them rebel superstars of the scientific world. In secret, they introduce human DNA into the experiment. The result is something that is greater than the sum of its parts: a female animal/human hybrid that may be a step up on the evolutionary ladder. They think they may have created the perfect organism—until she makes a final shocking metamorphosis that could destroy them—and the rest of humanity. In an age where creating life is a near-scientific possibility, the terrifying premise of Splice takes on hauntingly powerful implications. Polley and Brody deliver nuanced performances, and Natali’s lurid special effects and dazzling visual design create a modern-day horror film that will make you scream, squirm, and think.

—Sundance Film Festival

• Written by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor. Photographed by Tetsuo Nagata. With Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, David Hewlett, Delphine Chanéac. (100 mins, Color, 35mm, From Warner Bros.)