Vanishing Waves (***)
Running Time: 124 Minutes
Director: Kristina Buozyte
Starring: Jurga Jutaite, Marius Jampolskis
(Belfast Film Festival Event- QFT – 14 / 04 / 13)
I MUST admit from the outset, this is probably the first Lithuanian Sci-fi / Romance Thriller I’ve seen this month, ok, this year. A movie with clear overtones of the 1960’s and 1970’s surrealism from the beginning, Kristina Buozyte’s Vanishing Waves is a bold and dazzling trip into a Kubrickesqe world where science meets terror, and passion obsesses.
The film’s budget of nearly two million Euro allows for stunning technical and visual effects in a locationally restricted story, while Buozyte’s mastering of long thoughtful shots and seemingly endless pauses crank up the tension to near unbearable levels.
Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) plays a cerebral researcher on the darker edge of science. On volunteering for an experiment to interact with the mind of a comatose patient Aurora, (Jurga Jutaite) Lukas finds himself deep in a world of unknown, in the mind of the patient and in a romance which grows quickly beyond the physical.
Soon however, Lukas’ obsession with his experimental world consumes him, and his desperate attempt to keep the extent of his contact with Aurora’s mental persona secret, produces dark consequences and a series of darkly erotic and beautiful scenes which Gasper Noé himself would be proud.
Not to everyone’s taste of course, this full frontal, artistic, thought inducing, stripped down piece will certainly shock and intrigue. While harping back to 70’s Sci-fi, Vanishing Waves does not go so far into the twisted and obscure as some of the films from which it draws inspiration.
Buozyte’s use of colour in a film which flits in and out of reality, adds a scenery of mesmerizing interest and contrast which even the most artistically impatient punter will soak up with pleasure.
This is a film which prides itself in being shocking and adventurous while delivering its final message with intensity, emotion and clarity. Buozyte’s gripping direction has already awarded her with two awards at last year’s Karlovy Vary and Beuchatel film festivals and in a packed QFT screening, she has undoubtedly won at least a few more fans at this year’s Belfast Film Festival.