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TIFF 2018: AI Fails Humanity (And Vice Versa) In ANIARA

tiff-2018-aniara-review-lead

Who’s Behind It

Co-directors and writers Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja based their sci-fi film on work by Nobel Prize-winning poet Harry Martinson.

Who’s In It

Emelie Jonsson, Arvin Kananian, Bianca Cruzeiro.

Who’ll Love It

This Swedish sci-fi should be a hit with anyone who digs Tarkovsky’s Solaris or even Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (ANIARA has a similar sentient artificial intelligence meltdown that causes chaos onboard the ship).

What It’s About

Climate change scientists were right (obviously) and all of Earth is one giant unending hurricane/tornado/flood of biblical proportions. People are ditching the blue planet for a three week journey to Mars’ icy surface. But like Gilligan’s three-hour tour, this trip goes off course and receives an indefinite extension. That’s when life aboard the ship begins to get weird (and weirder still as time goes on).

Why You Should See It

There are two ‘trapped in space’ movies at this year’s Festival. One is Claire Denis’ High Life, about a contingent of criminals sent to space to serve out an unending sentence. For a large part of the film, it’s only Robert Pattinson’s character manning the massive ship. In ANIARA, the ship is full of people—it’s basically a travelling planet in decline. Left to ponder both situations, the old axiom ‘Hell is other people’ seems to ring true. We’d argue that ANIARA is the better film, but the two work perfectly as companion pieces.

When You Can See It

ANIARA screened at TIFF this past Friday, September 7. Catch it again on Saturday, September 15 at 5:45 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre. Watch the trailer below.