£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)
ABRE LOS OJOS 'OPEN YOUR EYES' (1997) - 3:30PM
SPEAKER - DR SYLVIA CAMPORESI - 5:30PM
dir. Alejandro Amenábar
ABRE LOS OJOS 'OPEN YOUR EYES'
Cesar is a wealthy, entitled pretty-boy who inspires envy in those around him. Between cruising in his open-top sports car and holding meetings with the managers of his ample financial trust, he spends his time throwing parties in his high-ceilinged loft apartment and bedding a never-ending string of beautiful women.
Superficial and self-interested, Cesar is presented as a victor in the lottery of life. He treats his girlfriends with a cool disinterest and is indifferent to the jealousy of his closest friend, Pelayo, ignoring entirely his feelings when he decides on a whim to pursue the woman his friend is in love with. However, Cesar’s life is abruptly transformed when he is involved in a serious accident and he begins to experience life from a very different vantage point. His life goes on to take a series of strange turns, eventually prompting him to question his friends, his environment and ultimately his own identity.
Alejandro Amenabar’s 1997 film is multi-layered and excitingly original; a thriller first and foremost, the story follows a series of twists and turns as Cesar’s strange fate unfolds. Whilst it is clear from early on in the film that things are not entirely as they seem, the line between appearance and reality is not fully clarified until the final moments of the film.
Cesar’s story is also a meditation on despair, isolation and identity, articulating the most cynical of perspectives on the effects of beauty on a person’s destiny. Open Your Eyes nevertheless embodies a hopeful optimism in Cesar’s desire for the truth, and, finally, in its hopeful message about the value of human life. The film also works as a wistful romantic drama illustrating the poignancy and peril of obsession, and of lost love.
DR SILVIA CAMPORESI - Guest Speaker
Director of Bioethics and Society Master’s programme at King’s College London
Silvia Camporesi is a bioethicist who researches the ethical and social issues raised by frontier biomedical technologies. She has written papers on a range of topics including, issues associated with medical research, genetic engineering, organ donation and post-humans. She has a particular interest in outreach work and has been interviewed on a number of bioethics topics by the BBC, the Guardian, CNN, and the Daily Mail and others.