Arts

Atlanta Filmmaker Jabbar Thomas Puts The Satire In Sci-Fi

In Atlanta Filmmaker Jabbar Thomas’ film “The Bus Stop,” Julia thinks the world is ignoring her, but really, she's on a different plane of existence. “The Bus Stop” will air this weekend on PBA’s “Atlanta Shorts.”
In Atlanta Filmmaker Jabbar Thomas’ film “The Bus Stop,” Julia thinks the world is ignoring her, but really, she's on a different plane of existence. “The Bus Stop” will air this weekend on PBA’s “Atlanta Shorts.”
Credit JABBAR THOMAS

Science fiction is satire.  It addresses contemporary problems while staying safely behind a spaceship or an apocalyptic world.

For example, along with showing the effects of a totalitarian regime, “The Hunger Games” series comments on the role of reality TV and game shows in our culture. In “Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley experiments with a fully regulated, efficient world.

What would happen to the outliers? Even Hollywood blockbuster busts such as Justin Timberlake’s “In Time” show the effects of a world with a huge wealth gap.

Local filmmaker Jabbar Thomas stays true to science fiction as satire in his films.

In his 2004 film, “The Advent,” Thomas reflects on the meaning of truth. He asks, if you could be told that everything you have been taught was accurate or false, would you want to know?

In his 1999 film “The Bus Stop,” the main character thinks she is having a normal day at the bus stop, but she is actually on a different plane of existence.

“The Bus Stop” will play on PBA’s “Atlanta Shorts” this Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 a.m.

Thomas’ 2000 film, “Starchild,” isn’t exactly a science fiction tale, but it’s based on science fiction writer Ray Bradbury’s short story, “Kaleidoscope.” In the story, a group of astronauts face their deaths as they float hopelessly through space. As the narrator plummets through earth’s atmosphere, he appears as a shooting star to a child in Illinois. That irony, that the death of an astronaut could bring hope to a child, attracted Thomas to base his film off of it.

“Story is king” is Thomas’ guiding principle for his work. While he loves sci-fi, he says that style is just a vehicle for the substance of the story.

“24 FPS (Frames Per Second)” is a weekly segment on “City Lights with Lois Reitzes,” where we hear from local, independent filmmakers.

In these segments, they tell us about being a filmmaker in Atlanta, their projects and the how-tos of film production.

WABE brings you the local stories and national news that you value and trust. Please make a gift today.Donate Now