The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Great science fiction is not about the budget – it’s about the ideas

with 8 comments


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

Written by Jessica

September 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

Posted in LFO

8 Responses

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  1. Sounds intriguing! I just added it to my watch list and will be on the look-out.

    Dan Heaton

    September 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    • I know you’re a fan of science fiction like me. I definitely think you should check this out. You’re lucky that it’s released in US. It hasn’t got any distribution in Sweden!


      September 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

  2. I’ll keep this one in mind as well, I’ve seen couple of Swedish comedies and so far, they have not failed to make me laugh. I think we Estonians have a similar dark humor as Swedes do, but you seem to be more capable to make comedies than we are. 😀


    September 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    • To be honest many Swedish comedies fail to make me laugh. I’m very picky whenit comes to humour. This one however succeeded. And I wasn’t alone; everyone in the audience seemed to have a fun time and there were all nationalities since it was at an international convention. I hope you’ll get the chance o see it.


      September 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm

  3. Good recommendation! Haven’t heard of it but will search for it. I think Elijah Wood have plans to “help” it in the form of making a US remake, perhaps? With himself as a main character. I’m just speculating.

    Except Fear Filmblogg

    September 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    • I don’t know. I read some news about wanting to help it to get a release in US. So far it has only succeeded to be released on DVD and iTunes from what I get.

      I hope you’ll find a way to see it. It will be screened at the fantastic film festival in Lund soonish.


      September 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm

  4. Sounds very interesting. Consider it added to my to watch list.


    September 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    • Yay! I hope you can see it. It will be released for US VOD, not sure about what countries in Europe will get to see it. In Sweden, its origin country, it will premier this autumn, but only at a feastival. I was lucky to catch it abroad…


      September 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm

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