John Carpenter's The Thing with Robert Cumbow

Film scholar Robert Cumbow will lead an analytical expedition into the heart of this classic sci-fi thriller.

October 21, 2017

After a frigid reception upon its original release, Carpenter's Lovecraftian approach to a horrific apocalyptic scenario is now one of his most beloved films. Much more than just a showcase for Rob Bottin's special effects team, Carpenter builds a slow sense of dread insuring, through expert camera work and unexpected bursts of violence/gore, that the audience is always kept on the edge of their seat. Join us for a hive-mind analysis of Carpenter's work at the apex of his career.

SIFF Film Center
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM


The date of this event has passed.

Special Engagement
$20 | $15 (SIFF Members) | $19 (Seniors and Youth)

SIFF Cinema passes, vouchers, and other discounts not accepted.

Note: Participants are recommended to have seen The Thing in advance of the session. We will not be screening the film in its entirety before the dissection begins.


Robert Cumbow has taught in Seattle University's Film Studies Program since 2010. His courses have included Westerns, Horror Films, Vampire Films, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and David Lynch. He has also taught mini-courses on Westerns, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, and Kathryn Bigelow at the Northwest Film Forum, and last year conducted the SIFF Cinema Dissection of Psycho. An attorney, Mr. Cumbow practices trademark and copyright law at the Seattle office of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, and also counsels artists and arts organizations in intellectual property and media law issues. He has been an advisor on several Seattle-made independent films. He has written books on Sergio Leone and John Carpenter, and numerous articles on film, most of which are collected at


Cinema Dissection affords film lovers an exciting opportunity to dig deeper into the films that they love. Inspired by Roger Ebert's annual Cinema Interruptus in Boulder, CO, attendees will participate with a facilitator in a six-hour scene-by-scene, and sometimes shot-by-shot, deconstruction of the featured film. While the facilitator will certainly share their thoughts, anyone in the audience may call out "Stop" and either ask a question of the group or make an observation around a certain shot or moment in the film.