First published by Sight & Sound
The very label ‘science fiction’ speaks of a collision between bounded realities and less bounded speculations – and while this broadest of genres can certainly accommodate all manner of spectacular actions and space operas, it is often at its best when privileging big ideas. So here is a preview of some of the more cerebrally inclined entries in this year’s Sci-Fi-London – films that present a cinematic stage for thought experiments and philosophical enquiry.
Whether Embers is regarded as an Alzheimer’s allegory or a broader investigation into the place of memory in our individual and cultural identity, Carré weaves from her ensemble amnesiapocalypse a reflection of the human condition as philosophically compelling as it is emotionally intelligent, while celebrating our species’ tenacious resilience, and optimistically implying that a flame can again be fanned from any embers. No other film has either moved or provoked me as much this year.
© Anton Bitel