Vesper

Vesper (2022)

Vesper has its UK première at Grimmfest The sowing of seeds, whether literal or metaphorical, is not just an investment in the future, but a gendered activity, strongly associated with men. For in agriculture it has traditionally been men who till – and sometimes even own – the land, spreading seeds across it for their…

Foresight

Film4 Foresight Shorts (2021)

Film4 Foresight Shorts first published by SIght & Sound, December 2021 There are notable exceptions to be found in, for example, the Afrofuturist movement, but science fiction has predominantly been a white genre. Film4’s Foresight sets out to redress the imbalance by offering five short British sci-fi films which have been made by black and…

The Spine of Night

The Spine of Night (2021)

Naked but for a helmet made of bone and matching bone necklace that houses a glowing blue flower, a woman treks through wind and snow up a mountain, at whose peak, inside the cave-like mouth of a giant skull, she finds a warrior in metal armour guarding a similar, wilting flower growing from the earth….

In The Shadows

In The Shadows (Gölgeler İçinde) (2020)

“Say something concrete!”, shouts Zait (Numan Acar), the protagonist of In The Shadows (Gölgeler İçinde). He is frustrated by the endless riddling abstractions that the Repairman (Vedat Erincin) keeps offering to explain what is going on – but in fact plenty is concrete in writer/director Erdem Tepegoz’s dystopia which – with its rocks, rubble and…

Immortal

Immortal (aka Immortel (ad Vitam)) (2004)

Immortal (aka Immortel (ad Vitam)) first published by Film4 Summary: Enki Bilal brings the mannered universe of his own comic books to life, in a hybrid mix of real and virtual action. Review: New York, 2095. On the eve of an election, a giant stone pyramid has appeared, hovering over the cityscape, while Central Park has transformed…

Penultimate

The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) (2020)

A man traverses a barren field in the mist, and tethers his donkey to a leafless, lifeless tree before advancing until he reaches the towering exterior of a brutalist building. Shot (by DP Jacob Sofussen) very wide, this opening to writer/director Jonas Kærup Hjort’s feature debut The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) is a single take, tracking…

Wolf

Time of the Wolf (Le temps du loup) (2003)

Time of the Wolf first published, in a version here modified, by Movie Gazette, November 2003 Michael Haneke has built himself a reputation for making films that are uncompromising (Benny’s Video, Funny Games, The Piano Teacher), and even the opening credits of Time of the Wolf (Le temps du loup) reflect a refusal to make…

Undergods

Undergods (2020)

“Maria tells me you write,” says Hans (Eric Godon), some way into Chino Moya’s feature debut Undergods. “What about?” “Possible worlds,” replies Johann (Tadhg Murphy) “I don’t think you’ll get it. Maria says you don’t read much.” What neither of these two men – nor indeed Hans’ daughter Maria (Tanya Reynolds) – quite realises is…

Pater

1 (2009)

! first published by EyeforFilm Stanislaw Lem‘s short story One Human Minute, first published in 1986, purported to be a review of an imaginary book that reduces all human activity and endeavour over a 60-second period to a dizzying set of statistical data. Pater Sparrow’s 1 reimagines this same book emerging in a dystopian world…

Olympics

The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968)

“Sooner than you think…” reads the text that opens Michael Elliott’s telemovie The Year of the Sex Olympics, filmed as part of BBC2’s Theatre 625. It is a promise of prescience in this science fiction from 1968 – and viewed now, it is all too easy to discern something of our own present being extrapolated…