16mm print, color, sound, 30', 1983
According to the futuristic film Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975), in two years the world will be transformed in a global corporate state. In this near future, wars will no longer exist as they will be replaced by a violent futuristic sport named rollerball, a fusion between vale tudo, basketball, skateboard, hockey and drag racing. The fully armed players, or rather gladiators, circle around an arena fighting for a metal ball, struggling to annihilate the others by all means. Rollerball teams are named after the cities in which they are based and represent global corporations. In the film one player fights for his personal freedom threatening the corporate control.
In 1983, a group of American artists met in a sports court to play You the Better, a game invented by Ericka Beckman. The game was a distilled version of all-americana games, a mix between softball, basketball, bowling, arcade video games and casino gambling. In this Rollerball-like scenario, with colorful props and boyish work uniforms, a team led by the artist Ashley Bickerton struggles to win against an almighty oppressive "House", which stands to remind you of the futility of individual effort against the corporate world. In this "allegory of suburban conformity versus free will", the players are cheered by repetitive a cappella slogans that keep their spirits high, but as the game evolves they find themselves trapped in the surreal plot of a relentless game.
On the evening of the 25th of April, Oporto celebrates the 1974 Portuguese revolution with the screening of You the Better. You are welcome to join us to watch the game and, who knows, help the players burn the House and its dices. At the end of the session, if odds are favourable, we'll present Maurice Lemaître's Montage (1976), setting our screen on fire.
Un coup d’état jamais n'abolira le hasard.
Monday, April 25, 10.30 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon