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Sci-Fi London 2013

Every year Sci-Fi-London comes to town and brings, as its title suggests, “all things science fiction” (quote) with it, meaning apocalypse and robot galore among other things.

The festival will be running from April 30 to May 6, 2013 this year, with a costume parade for “[c]osplayers, zombies, stormtroopers, steampunks, daywalkers, superheroes” or whichever other fantasy character tickles your fancy starting off the fun on April 28.

Films, which will screen at the Stratford Picture House and the BFI Southbank, come from all over the world, with multiple offerings from Asia included:

Note: For trailers click on the film title.

One major Asian event is the Anime All-Nighter on May 4, with the following five films:

009 RE Cyborg

「009 Re Cyborg」.

But it’s not just animation that’s on the programme, there is also some ‘real’ martial arts and apocalypse fare:

May 4: 太極之零開始 (Taikyoku no rei kaishi/Tai Chi 0, China, 2012) and 太極2 英雄崛起 (Taikyoku 2 eiyū kutsuki/Tai Chi Hero, China, 2013) – Details.
May 4: 「Nyanco」 (Japan, 2012) – Dir. by Tsukuda Hikaru. A 3-min short that screens as part of Shorts I.
May 6:「佐渡テンペスト」(Sado Tempest/ArashiJapan/UK/Hong Kong) – Dir. by John Williams. Sado Tempest previously screened at the Raindance Film Festival and is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It is set on Sado Island in some futuristic moment and involves everything from J-rock to Noh masks. I’ve got a festival screener for this somewhere, so if I manage to find some time before May 6, I’ll watch and review it (no promises though). Details for the Sci-Fi London screening are available here.

Sado Tempest.

Sado Tempest.

As for non-Asiana, these two are on top of my list to see:

  • Aurora (Vanishing Waves, Lithuania, 2012) – Dir. by Kristina Buožytė. – I featured Aurora on Trailer Weekly #65 as a sort of wildcard. I first heard about it via Twitter, then found rave reviews, but also people who described it as an orgy on the screen. The story (quoting myself from the Trailer Weekly here): Lukas, a member of a research team […] becomes a test subject for a new technology that allows access to another person’s thoughts. In the experiment Lukas enters the mind of a female, comatose patient, where he encounters the woman and soon finds himself drawn to her – also sexually – and into her world. The film is several things at once: “science fiction… mystery… psychosexual drama” and “a love story”. It’s not really “surreal, although it’s certainly a bit of a trip” and often rather “dreamlike” (all quotes from here).” Details for the Sci Fi London screening are here.
  • Best Friends Forever (USA, 2013) – This one is new to me, but caught my eye when browsing the Sci Fi London programme. It’s an indie film from USAmerica, described as a “post-apocalyptic THELMA AND LOUISE”, in which “two LA hipsters take a road trip across America, unaware of the mass destruction around them” (quotes from the festival programme). It’s “not hard sci-fi, it fits nicely into the postapocalyptic sub genre, and will especially appeal to audiences tired of seeing ‘tough men with guns'” (that would be me :-D). Screening details are here.

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