The Atomic Cafe

This darkly funny and eerily relevant 1982 cult classic about how to stop worrying and love the bomb is pieced together from government-produced educational and training... Read more

The Atomic Cafe

Directed by Kevin Rafferty and Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty

Year: 1982
Running Time: 88
Color Type: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Country: U.S.
Language: English
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The Atomic Cafe

Crew
Directed by Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader and Pierce Rafferty


Armageddon has never been so darkly funny as in The Atomic Cafe. This 1982 cult classic juxtaposes Cold War history, propaganda, music and culture, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements. Taken together, these sources cheerily instruct the public on how to live in the Atomic Age, how to survive a nuclear attack (!) ... and how to fight and win a nuclear war. As a U.S. Army training film advises, "Viewed from a safe distance, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man." Returning to theaters in a sparkling 4K digital restoration created by IndieCollect, The Atomic Cafe is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren’t so eerily relevant to our fake news present.

Reviews

"Bitterly funny… as vital as ever. A time capsule of a time capsule, the 1982 documentary compilation film The Atomic Cafe feels suddenly, enragingly relevant again… back to remind us how fucked we truly are, and perhaps have always been."

"One of the funniest documentaries ever made. Feels more sharply relevant than ever."

“Never feels too distant, despite the years, perhaps because both careless stewardship of the bomb and surreal official propaganda seem to be making a comeback.”

“A stunner, a movie that has one howling with laughter, horror and disbelief. Deserves national attention."

“An artfully assembled collage of official insanity.”

"Bitterly funny. As vital as ever. A time capsule of a time capsule, the 1982 documentary compilation film The Atomic Cafe feels suddenly, enragingly relevant again… back to remind us how fucked we truly are, and perhaps have always been.”

“A comic horror film. Everyone should visit The Atomic Cafe.”

“A chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella.”

"Nuclear holocausts were never so darkly funny as in The Atomic Cafe (1982), a compilation of hilariously scrunchy archival footage.”

"Jaw-dropping... skillfully illustrates in absurd and horrifying fashion how the job of educating the public was accomplished through God-on-our-side propaganda."

"Often hilarious and frightening. The Atomic Café’s half-life is far from over."



Awards

  • National Film Registry – U.S. Library of Congress

Press Kit

Hi-Res Poster

Hi-Res Images

Trailer Embed Code

Interested in bringing The Atomic Cafe to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Estelle Grosso at EDU@kinolorber.com or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.

The Atomic Cafe may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso at EDU@kinolorber.com or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.

To read more about Kino Lorber Edu's terms of use and ordering information, visit Kino Lorber Edu.

PLAYDATES

Venue City Date
Lincoln Theatre - Damariscotta Damariscotta 1540094400October 21, 2018
Alamo Drafthouse Winchester Winchester 1540008000October 20, 2018
National Gallery of Art Washington 1539489600October 14, 2018
Hollywood Theatre Portland 1538971200October 8 - October 9, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle 1538712000October 5 - October 11, 2018
Vermont International Film Festival S. Burlington 1538366400Coming in October
Smith Rafael Film Center San Rafael 1538193600September 29, 2018
Northwest Film Center Portland 1537588800September 22, 2018
Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago 15375024009/21, 9/23, 9/26
Austin Film Society Austin 15371568009/17, 9/19
Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus 1536897600September 14, 2018
Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit 1536292800September 7 - September 9, 2018
Cornell Cinema Ithaca 15362928009/7, 9/18
Pacific Film Archive Berkeley 15358608009/2, 9/7, 9/14
Cinestudio Hartford 1535860800September 2 - September 5, 2018
Miami Beach Cinematheque Miami Beach 1535688000August 31 - September 6, 2018
Parkway Theatre Baltimore 15350832008/24-25, 8/29
Art Theatre Champaign 1534824000August 21, 2018
Taos Center For The Arts Taos 1534651200August 19 - August 22, 2018
Laemmle Claremont 5 Claremont 1533960000August 11 - August 12, 2018
Laemmle Playhouse 7 Pasadena 1533960000August 11 - August 12, 2018
Laemmle Monica Film Center Los Angeles 1533873600August 10 - August 16, 2018
Roxie Theater San Francisco 1533873600August 10 - August 16, 2018
Film Forum New York 1533096000August 1 - August 14, 2018


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