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Film: The Arc of Oblivion

April 26 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

THE ARC OF OBLIVION – Herzog Produced Documentary Screening!

One man’s search for an answer to the existential question: in a universe that erases its tracks, why are we so hellbent on leaving a trace?

NY Times Critics Pick: “In his attempt to imagine why, and how, we try to preserve memories, Cheney unearths something beautiful: We want to remember not just ourselves, but other people, and that’s what’s behind the efforts. He sees this as hopeful, a core part of what it really means to be human. Maybe the act of trying to preserve is far more meaningful than whether or not those efforts succeed. If the universe arcs ultimately toward oblivion, then what matters is what we do now.” – Alissa Wilkinson, The New York Times

From executive producer Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams; Grizzly Man) and director Ian Cheney (King Corn), THE ARC OF OBLIVION is an unexpectedly playful search for an answer to a deeply existential question: In a universe that erases its tracks, why are we so hellbent on leaving a trace? Set against the backdrop of the filmmaker’s quixotic quest to build an ark in a field in Maine, the film heads far afield – to salt mines in the Alps, fjords in the Arctic, and ancient libraries in the Sahara – to illuminate the strange world of archives, record-keeping, and memory. Playfully weaving stop-motion animation, spellbinding cinematography and fascinating interviews from the director’s inner circle and experts in the fields of science, culture and art – including documentarians Werner Herzog and Kirsten Johnson – THE ARC OF OBLIVION reveals how nature inspires the human drive behind filmmaking.

“Has a kookiness to it that feels fresh and unexplored. The incorporation of video art, stop-motion animation, interviews with top subjects (including Johnson and Herzog), and timelapse sequences gives this unconventional thought experiment a sharp edge that is both fun and poignant…(It) begs us to question, in the nicest of ways, if we are beautifully insane in our efforts to continue to preserve memories, despite the natural order of disregarding them. It’s a fascinating film that I hope remains in the public’s consciousness for a long, long time.” – Morgan Rojas, Cinemacy


Ian Cheney is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. He has completed eleven feature documentaries, including King Corn (2007), The Greening of Southie (2008), The City Dark (2011), The Search for General Tso (2014), Bluespace (2015), The Most Unknown (2018), The Emoji Story (2019), Thirteen Ways (2019), Picture a Scientist (2020), The Long Coast (2020), and The Arc of Oblivion (2023). His short films include Two Buckets (2006), Truck Farm (2010), The Melungeons (2013), The Smog of the Sea (2016), The Measure of a Fog (2017) and Fight Like Hell (2023). He received bachelor’s & master’s degrees from Yale University, and an MFA in Film from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. A former MacDowell Fellow & Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, he lives in midcoast Maine.

Tickets $15 (In-Person Event Only)
Please email [email protected] or phone 323-663-2167 with any questions.

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Philosophical Research Society
3910 Los Feliz Blvd
Los Angeles,90027United States
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