Monday, August 1, 2016

Embers (2015) hits VOD Tomorrow

Embers Official Trailer from Claire Carré on Vimeo.
This is the review I did when EMBERS played the Oxford Film Festival. The film kind of blindsided me because here was a small scale film that took science fiction back from the guns and spaceship crowd and returned it to the thinkers- the Ray Bradburys, the Isaac Azimovs, and Arthur C Clarkes. Here was a film that was moving on a human level and full of great ideas.

Simply put EMBERS blew me away. It blew so far away that I couldn't figure out why no one was talking about it. Then I realized it was just starting it's festival run, I had to give it time to pick up traction. And it has playing numerous festivals we've covered.

EMBERS is a masterpiece. Its a film that has haunted me since I've seen it. I've talked it up and done everything except press copies of it into people's hands. I can't say enough good things about it. 

A many of you know I have a two part best of the year list- there's the great films I've loved and then there is the best of the best. EMBERS has one of the best of the best spots- how can it not- its a film I've been carrying around with me since I first saw it.

The film is hitting VOD and now you all have no excuse not to see it.  Understand what you're getting, a film about people and life and ideas, but no ray guns and spaceships. You're getting a film that will stay in your head and move your heart. If that's the sort of film you want pre-order it now and enjoy it on Friday. Even if you just want a film that isn't Hollywood but something so much better see the film.

Here then is my original review- and know my feelings haven't changed only gotten deeper.

The apocalypse has come and gone, the trouble is that most people don't remember it.

After some sort of neurological catastrophe most people's short term memory is gone. The result is that people replay their lives over and over again. A young boy runs about in the ruins, a scientist tries to piece together his notes and what he knows, and a pair of lovers wake up every morning not sure who the other is. Meanwhile a girl lives in a bunker locked away with her father, both of which still have their memories.

Thought provoking science fiction film is one of the hidden treasures of the Oxford Film Festival. Why isn't this film getting more notice? Why hasn't this film gone on to more people's radar?

This is a kick in the ass film that will get you talking and thinking and feeling. Its the sort of film that you'll want to see a second time right after the first because you'll want to reconnect with the characters and with the ideas floating around. I want to see it again simply because I want to know how knowing the film's arc will affect my feelings at the start.

For me this is a great examination of isolation and being an outsider.Not having a memory means always trying to fit into a world that doesn't wholly make sense. How to we make the world make sense and find our place in it and what if we can't?

We also are faced with the intriguing question of what is love and destiny. Watching the semi-doomed romance play out over and over again forces one to ponder if we are indeed fated for some one or is it pure chance.

I haven't worked it all out yet and I won't until I see this a couple more times.

While I am in awe of this film and it's stunning reclamation of science fiction as a genre of ideas as opposed to space ships, ray guns and aliens, the film has a couple of problems, one minor, one a tad more serious. The least of the problems comes in a line about Miranda and her father being locked away for over nine years. That hardly seems possible owning to the state of the world outside. While I was fine with things being in ruins for an unspecified period of time, the inclusion of a date. All of the talk of time doesn't really work, but as I said it's incredibly minor.

The other problem is that the fragmentary nature of the narrative, the film is less one story than five or so inter related stories is kind of too much for things to feel completely smooth. Yes, the stories work, but the fact that they aren't one story makes things a bit bumpy.

Of course I shouldn't be complaining, especially when you have a a film that is otherwise a wonder of story telling and mind expansion. It is a film that quibbles or not is a masterpiece of genre and one of the best films you'll see all year.

One of my favorites of 2016.

Embers is now available on iTunes and On Demand. Watch it now! #EmbersMovie

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