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Feature: Ćon Flux

Perfect world?

Award-winning director Karyn Kusama tells us why she went from low budget film-making to Hollywood blockbuster Ćon Flux

In just six years’ time, disease caused by the world’s over-industrialization will wipe out 99% of the population of the globe. The survivors will build a wall around the one remaining city and call it Bregna. Four hundred years later the self-sufficient city will be the cleanest, most unpolluted environment on the planet and the inhabitants will describe it as the height of Human civilization. But is any utopian future really that perfect?

This is the question that director Karyn Kusama will be asking of audiences when Ćon Flux arrives in theatres this September 30 and worldwide audiences will see a new side to Oscar-winner Charlize Theron.

Based on the cult classic MTV animated shorts of the same name, Ćon Flux has taken 10 years to get to the big screen, and while fans of the animated adventures are no doubt delighted and surprised that the little-known show has been granted a $50 million blockbuster, surely more surprising still are the choices for both film-maker and star.

Karyn Kusama’s last film was the acclaimed Girlfight, which cleaned up at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and even won a gong at that year’s Cannes ceremony. But while Kusama’s tale of a young Brooklyn girl’s fight to gain respect and strength through boxing has one similar element to Flux – in its strong female lead – the leap from a low budget independent film to a multi-million dollar Sci-Fi actioner is inescapably large.

“I like [stories] that have very strong central characters and in that way I think I’m pretty traditional and sort of interested in a very kind of traditional classical narrative a lot of the time,” Kusama says of her attraction to the project. “And Ćon Flux is such an interesting kind of flawed and ambiguous heroine in that she sort of behaves irrationally at times or she behaves [instinctively]. I think that’s really interesting. I’ve always loved science fiction and my interest in Girlfight was a sort of interest in trying out a social-realist kind of movie within a contemporary setting and I think all movies wind up being a form of experiment in that you’re hopefully always trying to do something new for yourself and potentially for the genre. So I thought there was something in Ćon Flux that was particularly fresh and had the opportunity also to be really beautiful, visually beautiful and sort of bracing to look at and to interpret on a narrative level and I feel like that’s something that’s been missing from a lot of Sci-Fi recently, that it’s sort of become so much about a kind of grey, dark apocalypse and we had the opportunity to tell a story that’s quite a bit, sort of lighter on the outside, and perhaps even darker on the inside.”

by Antony Jacobs

Get the full interview and all the latest on the movies you musn't miss in
Film Review (Aug)

Image © Visual Imagination Ltd, Ćon Flux © Paramount Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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Film Review (Aug), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Aug)
#660, August 2005
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