The 23rd incarnation of Sci-Fi-London is back to planet earth this week, spread over several cinemas in Central London, and boasting 13 new features, and 19 shorts.
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.
Day six of the film festival sees the Festival Première of Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi’s near future sci-fi, Remote. Our review…
Remote (2022) Festival Première, 5 June, 8.30pm, Prince Charles Cinema
In a world of the near future, Unoaku (Okwui Okpokwasili) lives a life of routine (exercise, work, reading, meals) alone in her state-of-the-art apartment during a Covid-style lockdown. Her favourite part of the day is watching Rainbow Panda, a relaxing live webcast in which Eun-ji (Joony Kim) grooms her dog Soju online. One day, though, Unoaku notices a glitch in the programme, which leads her to find the only other four people (Nikita Tewani, Pooya Mohseni, Yvette Mercedes, Antonia Predovan) scattered across the globe who also seem able to see this ‘anomaly’.
As these five women – all speaking different languages, all living on the sixth floor of their respective buildings – investigate, together but remotely, the mystery of what unites them, directors Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi carefully elaborate a simple-seeming scenario of female companionship and solidarity that ever so gradually assumes a more surreally cosmicomic aspect. Charming and increasingly weird, this exposes our place in an occasionally buggy universe that is beyond human comprehension – if perhaps not beyond human connection.
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.