Space Sweepers / Seungriho (dir. Jo Sung-hee, 2021) – A space crew discovers a human-like robot in a crashed space shuttle and decides to cash in on their find.
In 2092, the environmentally devastated Earth is in its death throes. The rich pay to seek safe harbour in space’s orbiting land, owned by UTS Corporation. The poor have no choice but to remain in their stricken home, struggling to survive the lasting consequences of climate change.
Space Sweepers continues the trend in science fiction, exploring the “what if”s behind our growing class divide that could see our humanity ebbed away with time. Inequity makes for a cold society, where non-citizens labour to clear the debris in orbit for money and the comfort of the upper class.
Continue reading Movie Review: Space Sweepers (2021)
Fried Barry (dir. Ryan Kruger, 2020) – An alien visitor assumes control of an ill-mannered junkie as he discovers the weird world of humankind.
Something strange has made its way into Cape Town – wordlessly. Finding its first and only victim in Barry (Gary Green), the body snatcher inhabits the unlikable heroin junkie and invades his being in more ways than one. From there on, his bad trip never seems to end.
When the new Barry returns to Earth, he roams the streets as though he is seeing the world for the first time. He acts upon instinct and mimics the people around him, provoking violence at times. Yet he also performs heroics, albeit unintended, and surprises his estranged wife with uncharacteristic kindness.
It is hard to truly make sense of what he does and perhaps, unnecessary to do so. Fried Barry is at its core an avant-garde experiment, where the experience takes precedence over logic and story. Its original 3-minute film presents a small taste, though it proves inadequate to prepare us for the feature version and its 90-odd minutes of madness to come.
This review was originally published on Fleshcuts. Read the full post here.
This has been a tough year for movies, where streaming services threatened cinemas more than before and major film productions came to a halt. May 2021 bring about better luck for us and the film industry both.
Before we return to the theatres next year, here’s looking back at the strange year we had, as defined by the films I personally loved. These exclude ones that almost made it, namely: Black Box, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and Eurovision Song Contest for the gift of Ja Ja Ding Dong alone.
10. The Invisible Man (dir. Leigh Whannell)
Abandoning the bandages get-up for a high-tech suit affixed with micro-lenses, the new incarnation of Invisible Man has certainly gotten a visual upgrade. More than green screen magic is the story that brings out more grounded invisible monsters within toxic relationships.
Escaping the pitfall of taking on remakes, Leigh Whannell has his own story to tell. Who knew that his movie would be the last cinematic experience that I would have had for the next 6 months, but I couldn’t have chosen a better film to mark a temporary break from my favourite place on this planet. (review)
Continue reading Favourite Movies of 2020
The Call / 콜 (dir. Lee Chung-hyun, 2020) – Two women from different times connect through a phone call that changes their lives.
Sci-fi was never the genre that one would typically associate with South Korean cinema. But things are starting to change. In the recent decade, more filmmakers have begun experimenting with conjectures about the future and grand ideas on the manipulation of time – with great success. The Call is this year’s stunner that saw its quiet debut on Netflix.
The movie takes place in 2019, where Seo-yeon (Park Shin-hye) has just returned to her childhood home. She receives a strange call on the landline from a woman named Young-sook (Jeon Jong-seo), only to realise that the latter is living in the same house – 20 years before her.
Continue reading Movie Review: The Call (2020)
The Devil All the Time (dir. Antonio Campos, 2020) – A young man devotes to protecting his loved ones in a rural town shaped by war and violence.
On the battlefield, Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgård) stares at the half-dead sergeant, mutilated and crucified by Japanese soldiers. He pulls out his gun and puts an end to the man’s misery. The traumatic memory will cast a shadow on him for the rest of his life.
He is granted a reprieve when he meets diner waitress Charlotte (Haley Bennett) and falls in love. They move to the rural town of Knockemstiff and start a family. But when Charlotte is stricken by cancer, the feeling of being powerless comes back to haunt the veteran. His fervent prayers go unanswered, his sacrifices unseen.
Continue reading Movie Review: The Devil All The Time (2020)
His House (dir. Remi Weekes, 2020) – A refugee couple escapes from war-torn South Sudan and begins a new life in an English town, where they struggle to adjust to their new home.
War refugees Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) have arrived on British soil. When they are granted probation asylum for 3 months, they make clear of their gratitude in tears. They embrace their new home, despite it being distant from the city and infested with pests.
They settle in, only to start hearing whispers and seeing shadows in the hallways. Baggage is not all they brought back with them from the war zone. An apeth, also known as a night witch in Dinka folklore, has come to claim its debt.
Continue reading Movie Review: His House (2020)