Great science fiction is not about the budget – it’s about the ideas
A big amount of explosions is no guarantee for a great science fiction movie, not even if they take place in space. The attraction of science fiction lies in the quality of ideas, at least in my book. It doesn’t necessarily require a huge budget. But it requires brains.
LFO is a movie that you probably haven’t heard of until now, unless you’re one of a few lucky people in the world who’ve had the chance to see it in various festivals for fantastic film. Now I want to sell it to you because it’s an example the type of science fiction I love most: small but smart.
This dark comedy takes place in a house in a Swedish suburb where the sound technician Robert, after being left by his wife, spends most of his day experimenting with sounds. One day he finds out that certain frequencies can be used to hypnotize and steer other people. It doesn’t take long before he has turned his unknowing neighbours into his personal lab rats. Then things start to get complicated. Meanwhile his ambitions as of what to do with this invention start to grow.
Small festival film
When I say that the film is “small”, I really mean it. The estimated budget is 500 000 dollars, which probably is less than the cost of the house where it takes place. It was shot in ten days. Throughout the movie you only see a handful of actors on screen. And the set is kind of claustrophobic; the camera never leaves the house. However this doesn’t stop it from being inventive, thought-provoking and – not the least – genuinely funny.
Wherever it has been screened at film festivals it has got a great reception and it has a number of awards under its belt. I watched it recently at Loncon 3, the science fiction world convention in London. There was no award given out there, but judging from the reaction of the audience they would have been happy to give it one.
One of the other fans of the film is Elijah Wood, who after watching it decided to put his name behind it as an executive producer. So far it doesn’t seem to have resulted in a theatrical release (sadly it hasn’t even been shown in Swede). But it will be available on DVD in the US market from the end of October. I’ve also seen it mentioned that it will be downloadable from iTunes around the same time, but I haven’t been able to verify that. Keep your eyes if you’re into this type of movies.
LFO (Antonio Tublen, SWE/DEN 2013) My rating: 4,5/5