Review: Cycle / Cert: TBC / Director: Zoltan Sostai / Screenplay: Zoltan Sostai / Release Date: TBC
Pixelated madness, simulated worlds, portals, complex questions surrounding time and disorientation dominate this visually imaginative film from debut director Zoltan Sostai. Moments of the film have a 1960s inspired feel to them, with the influence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey being clear. A suited up spaceman runs around a puzzling world trying to escape a mysterious fog. He is accompanied by a masked man who attempts to guide him, but it’s not clear if he is pointing him in the right direction. Much of the rest of the film takes on a more modern edge, with computer game graphics and CGI motion capture animation and in fact, at times, you get the feeling you are watching a game in motion.
The narrative, though non linear, is similar in form to that of a computer game as you are following a man running around a desolate world with the aim of escape and realisation. A repetitive series of events plays out, and at times, it gives off the effect that you have failed your level and are having to reboot and start from the beginning again. An interesting concept that just about works at the short running time of 77 minutes. If you are not a fan of computer games then this could prove to be a difficult watch.
Disorientation and atmosphere are achieved with the use of static interruption in both the visuals and the sound along with synth chords and psychedelic light beams. Codes and ticking clocks appear at intervals, left for the audience to decipher. The entire film revolves around a sense of panic, unanswered questions and ambiguity and it works on this level.
The strongest aspect of the film lies in some of the black and white footage that delivers some strange and confusing moments. Running with the concept of a computer game, the astronaut enters some extremely different worlds and rooms that are all starkly contrasted. A room filled with dancing spacemen and a conversation that sets up the idea that not everything is as it seems is particularly striking and in tone with that old school sci-fi film look. Spaceships and sparsely inhabited industrial settings with sermon like speeches make up a strange debut that shows potential. This is surreal sci-fi that has some stand out moments even if the whole may not satisfy.
Expected Rating: 6 out of 10