Future Tense

Watch the Hilarious Mars Attacks! on the Big Screen With Us

An alien with a giant head, wearing a glittery red robe and bubble helmet, walks down an aisle surrounded by people in suits.
Still from Mars Attacks! © 1996 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All rights reserved.

The 1996 movie Mars Attacks! is a lovingly campy re-creation of the campy sci-fi movies of the 1950s and 1960s, when the existential dread of the Cold War and the titillating but still largely unimaginable notion of space exploration resulted in such movies as Plan 9 From Outer Space, It Came From Outer Space, and the Mars Attacks! trading cards that inspired this brilliant work of kitsch directed by Tim Burton and starring Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Join Future Tense and Lucianne Walkowicz for a screening of Mars Attacks! and a brief discussion on the ways it reflected our Cold War anxieties and our fascination with all things outer space. Lucianne Walkowicz is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and was the 2017-2018 Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress chair in astrobiology. 

This latest installment of Future Tense’s “My Favorite Movie” series will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at Washington, D.C.’s Landmark E Street Cinema at 555 11th Street NW. To RSVP for yourself and up to one guest, visit the New America website.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.