The Drivetime

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The Drivetime
Publicity still
Directed byAntero Alli
Produced byAntero Alli
Written byAntero Alli
Rob Brezsny (add'l text)
StarringMichael Douglas
Michael George
Susan Mansfield
Kristen Kosmas,
CinematographyAntero Alli
Edited byAntero Alli
John Comerford
Distributed byParaTheatrical ReSearch112905
Release date
August 30, 1995 (US)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
BudgetUS$5,000[citation needed]

The Drivetime is a 1995 science fiction film directed, written and produced by the Finnish-born filmmaker Antero Alli.


The film opens in the year 2023 in the Nostradamus Islands. A librarian named Flux recalls a series of earthquakes that destroyed the continental United States. A totalitarian government took control of the United States following the disaster, but video footage from the pre-earthquake world was lost. Flux is sent by the government back in time to Seattle, Washington, of 1999, to locate video footage of a riot that took place prior to the earthquake. He arrives in a society where telecommunications technology has replaced human interactions, and where police operations are presented as television entertainment. He also discovers the government is putting forth footage of non-existent riots as a means of establishing law and order.[1][2]


The Drivetime was produced on a budget of US$5,000 (currently $8,000[3]).[4] Rob Brezsny, author of the syndicated newspaper column "Real Astrology", wrote the text for the film’s psychedelic infomercials.[4]

Alli shot The Drivetime in five different video formats – BETA SP, HI-8, VHS, C-VHS, SVHS – and in Super 8 film. The riot footage was culled from the September 10, 1994, riots in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that protested allegations of local police brutality.[5]


The Drivetime was first screened at the Velvet Elvis Arts Theater in Seattle in August 1995.[6] The film had a limited theatrical release and was later distributed on DVD.[5]

The Drivetime received mixed reviews. Wired magazine praised it as "one of the most chilling yet innovative cinematic essays on the flaws of today's technology-obsessed society"[1] while Steven Seid of the Pacific Film Archive praised the film’s "provocative visuals" and noted it was "at its best when plying its 'televisionary' speculations about a spiritual resurgence that will overwhelm virtuality."[7] However, Robert Firsching, writing for the Amazing World of Cult Movies, dismissed The Drivetime as a “silly mess".[8]


  1. ^ a b “Zooming in on Drivetime”, Wired Magazine, October 1996
  2. ^ Allmovie overview
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  4. ^ a b “Independents’ Day,” Reason Magazine, November 1996
  5. ^ a b “The Drivetime,” ParaTheatrical ReSearch
  6. ^ “Shorts, Shorts Everywhere As New Bugs Makes Debut,” Seattle Times, August 30, 1995
  7. ^ Seid, Steve (ndg). "Film Programs: Size Matters Part Ii: Feature-Length Experimental Video: The Drivetime". Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Firschling, Robert "The Drivetime" Amazing World of Cult Movies

External links[edit]