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USA | 1983 | 106 minutes | Douglas Trumbull

In visionary effects artist Douglas Trumbull's utterly mind-bending 1983 film, a pair of scientists (Louise Fletcher and Christopher Walken) invent an experimental brain-recording alternate-reality device and must fight to keep it out of the hands of the military. Panel discussion to follow.

Monday, June 5, 2017

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  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

6:30 PM Date has passed Director Douglas Trumbull scheduled to attend

Scientists Michael Brace (Christopher Walken) and Lillian Reynolds (Louise Fletcher) lead a research team that has been working on Triad, a brain/computer interface that can record a person's experiences onto videotape. But now they've added "higher brain functions" to the device and have discovered something truly remarkable: they are suddenly able to experience the emotions and sensations on those tapes. Ethical concerns arise immediately-Michael uses the device to get closer to his soon-to-be-ex-wife Karen (Natalie Wood in her final film), who also works on Triad; another records himself having sex and passes the tape onto his colleagues-but none more so than a sudden interest from the government, who wishes to use the project for military purposes. As the government's true plans come into focus, the scientists stop at nothing to make sure Triad doesn't fall into the wrong hands. The second and final film directed by visionary effects artist Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Brainstorm is a mind-bending science fiction parable.


Panelists across film, storytelling, and science will examine new technologies' affects on society today. The panel will delve into how emerging technologies like VR, AR, and AI offer innovative ways to tell stories, their effect on social interactions, human interaction, mental health, and more.

Moderator: Di Dang (Senior User Experience Director at POP)
Panelists: Douglas Trumbull (Director, Brainstorm), Eva Hoerth (Developer Evangelist, VREAL), Jason Pace (Founder & Executive Director, UW Digital Future Lab), Eve Powell (Creative Director, Verge of Brilliance)

Director Biography

Throughout his successful career in film, Douglas Trumbull worked both in visual effects and as a director. He served as the special-effects supervisor for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, two films that redefined the art of special effects. As a director, he's best known for 1972's Silent Running.

This film is co-presented with Seattle-based creative agency, POP.

Sponsored by KVOS

  • Director: Douglas Trumbull
  • Principal Cast: Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1983
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Producer: Douglas Trumbull
  • Screenplay: Philip Frank, Robert Stitzel, from a story by Bruce Joel Rubin
  • Cinematographers: Richard Yuricich
  • Editors: Freeman Davies, Edward Warschilka
  • Filmography: Silent Running (1972)
  • Language: English