Vanishing Waves: Sea of love
Genre films from countries with a low cinematic output are something of a rarity and can often be met with a mixture of dismissal and bemusement. While we’re far from the territory of the Hollywood blockbuster with this Lithuanian effort, Kristina Buožytė’s Vanishing Waves (original title: Aurora) attempts to tell an intelligent science-fiction tale alongside a more earthly story of love and passion. The film premiered in the East of the West competition at Karlovy Vary in 2012 – and earned a Special Mention.
Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) is a scientist taking part in an experiment that sends him into the mind of an unknown patient in a coma. Initially, all Lukas gets is a burst of sound and image, but after a while, he begins to see an unknown woman (Jurga Jutaite). Every time he reconnects to the patient, he discovers more about the woman, and soon he is falling passionately for someone (or something) that may be a figment of his or the patient’s imagination. Soon, his torrid “dream” affair starts to affect his real life. As his life begins to break down, he must try to find out just who the comatose person is and how real the woman in the dream world is.
Vanishing Waves takes its cue from many of the sci-fi movies produced in Eastern Europe back in the day, full of cold, white, scientific buildings and impressionistic dreamscapes. The effect is often striking, with a particularly nice contrast between the real world and that of the strange new lands that Lukas is exploring. The lead actors do a good job of giving everything a human dimension with some strong yet subtle performances, and the film creates a thoroughly unique atmosphere.
Vanishing Waves has slowly been garnering an impressive reputation, accumulating awards (the Méliès d’Or for the Best European Fantastic Film of 2012, the Jury Award at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival and the Palic International Film Festival…) and proving that it transcends genre audiences. The film, included in the Unexpected Love Stories collection of Walk This Way, will be online on video on demand from 15 July onwards in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Turkey.
24 July 2015, by Cineuropa