Monday, August 3, 2015

Cosmodrama(201-) Fantasia 2015

COSMODRAMA is a film you are either going to love or hate. It’s a very dry existential science fiction comedy. The plot has seven humans, a dog and a chimp waking up on a space ship unsure of how they got there, where they are going or why. A great deal of intellectual musing takes place.

The rooms and corridors look like something ripped from poor scifi films of the 70’s and 80’s. It feels like an ad for polyester leisure suits that used to fill the magazines. It’s the sort of thing that we once imagined space travel would have been like. Everyone’s dress is nonspecific and could have been taken from any time in the last 45 years. It’s a move that puts us slightly off kilter since the retro feel doesn’t clue us in as to what we are supposed to think or what we are going to get. It feels so off that I’m still trying to work out what it all means and what I think of it.

A low key comedy of ideas This is a film you have to engage with on multiple levels to have it fully work. The Fantasia Fest write up compares the film to the comedy of Monty Python, and on an intellectual level that’s true. Both COSMODRAMA and Python trust the audience to be smart enough to get the jokes and the knowledge behind them. I applaud the makers of this film for being that trusting. Unfortunately Python is infinitely funnier. With Python I actually laugh out loud, whereas with COSMODRAMA I smiled knowingly and then wait for the next jest. Python can take a subject like the philosophy of Sartre, make a joke of it in such a way that it funny twice, once because it’s just a funny joke, but also because they’ve used the philosophy against itself. That never happens here.

And I’m only comparing it to Python because the Fantasia people compare it to Python- If I was to compare it to anything I’d compare it to MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, but with less interesting conversation.


Can you tell I’m not in love with this film? Never mind love, I’m not sure I’m even in like with this film. Normally I like intellectual discussions that are well done, but there is something about the way this film looks and feels that makes me fail to connect. I’m trying to be objective about the film and put some ideas together but all I can come up with “I just don’t like it”.

Actually the thing that I keep going back to is how Hitoshi Matsumoto's films are so much better and how his film SYMBOL did it better. (SYMBOL is a wickedly funny film about a man trapped in a room that he is unable to get out of)

Worth a shot for the intellectually minded, all others need not apply.

The film plays tonight at Fantasia. For more information and tickets go here.

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