Inner and outer spaces: Sci-Fi-London Day One - SciFiNow

Inner and outer spaces: Sci-Fi-London Day One

We review UFO Sweden, which is showing on day one of Sci-Fi-London…

Sci-Fi-London is back to planet earth once more. Its 23rd incarnation, spread over several cinemas in Central London, boasts 13 new features,19 shorts, and a special retrospective screening of Peter Watkins’ post-nuclear faux documentary The War Game (1966) with a new live score. The eclectic programme includes films not just from the US, Canada and the UK, but also from Sweden, Bulgaria, Turkey, Denmark, Spain and Guatemala – and all are out of this world.

Here be aliens, ghosts, pandemics, unworldy invertebrates and artificial intelligences, oppressive dystopias, unnerving apocalypses and glitchy alternative universes, lost youth and the discarded elderly. My personal top picks are Cory McAbee’s Deep Astronomy and the Romantic Sciences and Søren Peter Langkjær Bojsen’s The Great Glitch/Children of Paradise, but really every carefully curated title on offer has something rich and strange for lovers of genre – and of whatever lies beyond genre.

Sci-Fi-London starts off Victor Danell’s UFO Sweden, here’s the SciFiNow review…

UFO Sweden (2022) Opening Night Gala, 31 May, 7pm Picturehouse Central

It is 1996 in Norrköping, Sweden – eight years after Uno Stjärne (Oscar Töringe) disappeared, leaving his research group UFO Sweden, friend Lennart (Jesper Barkselius) and young daughter Denise in the lurch. Now Denise (Inez Dahl Torhaug) is a delinquent teen hacker in foster care – and when Uno’s empty car plummets through the roof of a remote barn, she is determined to prove right Uno’s wild theories about weather patterns and wormholes, and to discover his fate.

Denise’s quest for daddy, or at least for family, aligns with UFO Sweden’s sceptical search for anything out there – and so Victor Danell’s good-natured retro adventure, complete with car chases, corporate infiltrations, and a red Saab 90 in place of a DeLorean, lets a disparate ensemble of dreamers look to the stars, leap through time and find each other. “We foil-hatted freaks stick together,” Denise will tell Lennart, in words that will ring true for any sci-fi-festival audience.

Sci-Fi-London will be taking place between 31 May and 6 June. Keep it with SciFiNow as we review the movies on each day of the festival.