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It’s difficult to decide what to make out of Spaceship, the writer-director Alex Taylor debut which will be in UK cinemas on May the 19th; what is undeniable though, is that if Mr. Taylor keeps doing what he just did, he is a force to be reckoned with in the indie British film industry.
The way the writer of this article humbly sees it, and I may be completely wrong, is that story wise this is a movie about teenagers, in the first place; and about teenagers and their relationship with adults, secondly. Therefore, it is told from a teenager POV, as daunting, confusing, exhilarating and changing as their mind and behavior can be. If cyber punk aesthetics; a blurry line between fantasy and reality dwelled by alien abductions, vampires wannabes, unicorns, black holes and reincarnations; and drug triggered psychedelic sequences under ultraviolet light and florescent body paint are added to the mix, the result is an extremely appealing visual piece, an interestingly puzzling story and, as far as I’m concerned, a really intriguing audiovisual poem.
The movie follows a bunch of different characters and even though initially one would say that Lucidia (Alexa Davies) is the main one, her abduction more or less at the middle of the film, leaves the story orphan in that sense. The premise, if we follow a classic way of analyzing this movie (which we shouldn’t since this is all but a classic movie) would be something like: A teenage girl tries to cope with the disappearance/alien abduction of her mother while learning to relate with her environment (father, friends and landscape). Until the point she is the one abducted and now it is her environment that needs to find her.
Lucidia aside, the movie follows: her father Gabriel (Antti Reini), an archeologist and Finish immigrant forced to reconnect with her daughter’s world through her friends and especially Tegan (Lara Peake), who looks exactly like his absent wife; an interesting in terms of concept but not really successful extra subplot portraying two squaddies making banal chit chat around the town while they train for their future and shining army careers; and last but not least, quite on the contrary, there’s Alice (Tallulah Haddon): in my opinion the best of the movie by far. The truth is that the casting is truly remarkable and pretty much all performances are excellent, but Tallulah takes it to another level with her mysterious, manipulative, flashy, extremely intelligent (rationally and emotionally) Alice impersonation. If there’s an actual alien in the movie, it’s her. And she’s AMAZING.
I know this article is getting confusing but that’s how the movie is, and it really is something else. Two more examples:
When Lucidia wakes up in “the other side” she needs to find a kid raving in a cave in order to be able to come back, or something. Whatever it means, love it.
Or, as a random teenager expresses in the following conversation with Gabriel:
T: You want some MDMA? G: No, I’m good. T: Good? Good isn’t enough anymore.
We could establish a parallelism between our current society and the teenager attitude; maybe another day. In any case, for a teenager, and especially a current one, happiness is not enough, euphoria is demanded! And that’s how it should be.
Spaceship, go watch it. It won’t leave you indifferent and it’s surely going to be talked about. It definitely should.