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Every New Beginning: Post-Apocalypse Stories

“You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.” 
― John Irving, The World According to Garp

Whether the endings come from wars, pandemics, or simple human folly, stories about the catastrophic destruction of civilization are horrifying – but also curiously compelling. Why do we love post-apocalypse stories? Is it such a relief to finally be done (if only in our imaginations) with lifetimes of dread of the apocalypse? Maybe there’s some part of us that is sickened by the civilization we’ve built. Maybe we so long for simplicity that we obsessively fantasize about paying a deadly price for it.

There is power in the connection between beginnings and endings. In the words of Semisonic, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The siren call of a fresh start is implicit in post-apocalypse stories. Here’s a piece of astounding optimism: We believe that we’ll do better, be better this time. At least that’s what we tell ourselves with the stories in these films.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.” ― R.E.M.

Each film will be followed by a panel discussion led by Collin College faculty and staff. The series supports the college’s core values of learning, creativity and involvement by engaging students through film and discussion.

All screenings are free and open to the public. Doors open 30 minutes before the film begins. Seating is limited. Some material may not be suitable for all audiences.

This series supports the college’s core values of learning, creativity and innovation, and service and involvement by engaging students through film and discussion.

7 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 16, 2021, at the Angelika Film Center in Plano
(PG-13, 2014, dir. Doug Limon, 113 minutes)
In a war against extraterrestrial invasion, the only hope for victory lies with an inexperienced soldier and his heroic sergeant solving a brutal time-loop puzzle.

7 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 13, 2021, at the Plano Campus Living Legends Conference Center
(PG-13, 2020, dir. Michael Matthews, 109 minutes)
Several years after a nuclear armageddon, a young man journeys through a gauntlet of giant mutated creatures to reconnect with his high school crush.

7 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 9, 2021, at the McKinney Campus Conference Center
(R, 2013, dir. Bong Joon Ho, 126 minutes)
A battle for justice ensues on a globe-circling train carrying the last of humanity, after a disastrous attempt to head off dangerously increasing temperatures crashes the climate into a deep freeze.

7 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 10, 2022, at the Angelika Film Center in Plano
(PG-13, 2007, dir. Francis Lawrence, 101 minutes)
Immune to a virus that has killed or mutated most of the human population, Army virologist Robert Neville, the sole remaining human in New York City, works for a cure while fighting to survive.
Presented in conjunction with the Black American Awareness Committee

7 p.m. on Wed., Mar. 23, 2022, at the Frisco Campus Conference Center
(G, 2008, dir. Andrew Stanton, 108 minutes)
A lovesick robot garbage collector on a lifeless Earth pursues a spaceship to retrieve EVE, his robot-probe girlfriend, and his treasure: a single living seedling.

7 p.m. on Tues., Apr. 19, 2022, at the Plano Campus Living Legends Conference Center
(R, 2006, dir. Alfonso Cuaron, 109 minutes)
No woman has become pregnant in 20 years, and the human race is on the brink of extinction. A cynical former activist guides a pregnant woman through a war-torn landscape to safety.

Collin College District map

Plano Campus
2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano

Frisco Campus
9700 Wade Blvd., Frisco

McKinney Campus
2200 W. University Drive, McKinney

Angelika Film Center
The Shops at Legacy, 7205 Bishop Rd., Plano

The Auteur Film Series is generously supported by
the Student Activity Fee Advisory Committee
and the Academic Affairs Division at Collin College.