DVD/VOD Release Date
July 23, 2013
- FORMAT: DVD
- SKU: ART8
- UPC: 854555004064
- ISBN: 9781939196064
- NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
- COUNTRY: Lithuania
- RATING: Not rated
- YEAR: 2012
- LENGTH: 124 Minutes
- AUDIO: Lithuanian with English subtitles, 5.1 Surround Sound
- ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1
- COLOR: Color
- BONUS MATERIAL: Coming Soon
- Winner: 2012 Fantastic Fest: Best Picture
- Winner: 2012 Fantastic Fest: Best Director
- Winner: 2012 Fantastic Fest: Best Screenplay
- Winner: 2012 Fantastic Fest: Best Actress (Jurga Jutaite)
- 2012 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
- 2012 Palic European Film Festival
- Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
- 2012 Fantastic Fest
- 2012 Sitges Film Festival
A hypnotic, erotic and riveting film that transcends any perceived limitations of the science fiction genre, Vanishing Waves is one of the year’s most provocative international films. Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) is a researcher who volunteers for a sensory deprivation experiment attempting to communicate with Aurora (Jurga Jutaite), a young comatose woman. The experiment takes an unexpected twist when the two meet in their mutually altered forms of consciousness. Soon, their psychic meetings turn into a romantic, sexually charged relationship set against the backdrop of surreal dreamscapes created by their collective minds. To protect their newfound bond, Lukas hides his findings from the researchers. But, will his deception doom their relationship?
Director: Kristina Buožytė
Running time: 124 minutes
Country: Lithuania, France, Belgium
Language: Lithuanian with English subtitles
Screenwriters: Kristina Buožytė & Bruno Samper
Cast: Marius Jampolskis, Jurga Jutaitė, Rudolfas Jansonas, Vytautas Kaniušonis, Brice Fournier, Philip Lenkowski, Martina Jablonskytė, Macej Marczewsky, Frédéric Anscombre, Frédéric Andrau, Darius Meškauskas
Creative Director: Bruno Samper
Producer: Ieva Norviliene
Cinematography: Feliksas Abrukauskas
Editor: Suzanne Fenn
Music: Peter von Poehl
VANISHING WAVES Sweeps the awards at the 2012 Fantastic Fest!
Called, “One of the greatest film festivals on the face of the planet” by www.dreadcentral.com, Fantastic Fest in Austin,Texas announced their 2012 awards on Monday, September 24th and Vanishing Waves was a big winner, garnering:
Best Picture: Vanishing Waves (dir. Kristina Buozyte)
Best Director: Kristina Buozyte (Vanishing Waves)
Best Screenplay: Bruno Samper, Kristina Buozyte (Vanishing Waves)
Best Actress: Jurga Jutaite (Vanishing Waves)
For the full press release: http://fantasticfest.com/news/entry/the_fantastic_fest_2012_awards
REVIEW:VANISHING WAVES is the Erotic Sci-Fi Drama of the Year! TWITCHFILM.COM
Vanishing Waves is an exquisite sci-fi head trip in the vein of Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey, one which takes pleasure in ideas and exploration rather than cheap thrills. As a bonus, it’s also sexier than either of those movies.
Rather than taking viewers to the outer limits, Lithuanian writer/director Kristina Buožytė is concerned solely with the depths of the human mind, and all the confusion, joy, sex and pain competing for space within.
The plot involves a neuron-informatics scientist named Lukas who is chosen to take part in an experiment that involves actually transferring neuron information from a comatose girl to him. In layman’s terms, Lukas is more or less entering the mind of a girl in a coma.
Besides some very trippy initial interference, the experiment works better than anyone could have hoped and Lukas finds himself in a surreal world inhabited by a beautiful woman — no prizes for guessing she’s the anonymous comatose patient — with whom he immediately becomes obsessed. Rather than actually sharing the real results with the team of scientists though, Lukas keeps most of the experience a secret, instead giving the research team just enough vague visual details so that they’ll plug him in again. And again.
The film then takes a number of turns as it explores the effect of the project on Lukas’ consciousness, his subconsciousness and of course, that of the woman. Soon, Lukas is completely ignoring his girlfriend and sneaking into the hospital to administer drugs that will affect the comatose woman’s subconscious experience. This effort, naturally, creates some problematic and unintended side effects.
Lukas’ obsession with this alternate reality takes center stage in the story, and while this has been explored in films like Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World and Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, it’s never been as thoughtful or visually striking. Indeed, Buožytė understands that for the film’s story to really take life, we must become completely immersed in this new world. The production design, visuals and composition are all inventive and nearly flawless. I especially liked the 60′s-inspired neuron transmitter which is attached to Lukas’ shaved head each time he plugs in. But really, nearly all of the film’s imagery is beautifully composed, unique and haunting.
The other refreshing thing about the film is its willingness to engage with the real complexities of the subconsciousness and all the bizarre desires it manages to conjure up. To this end, the film is incredibly erotic, often in ways we haven’t seen before, and almost always with fascinating emotional subtext. And really, it’s just nice to see a modern science fiction film that portrays the human mind as more than just multiple layers of gun play and James Bond-style action sequences (ahem, Christopher Nolan).
Ultimately, the film aspires to a romance of sorts, though it’s removed from any traditional definition of the genre. Parts of this work incredibly well, especially a bold, revealing one-take conversation between the two characters near the end. At the same time, the film goes down so many rabbit holes, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of the emotional core.
Also, Marius Jampolskis’ performance as Lukas may have benefited from a bit more variety. He seems dehumanized almost from the beginning, and while he understandably becomes more and more withdrawn in his real life as the experiment progresses, he’s frustratingly blank and morose during his journeys of the mind as well. While it might have disrupted the film’s near-hypnotic pace, I think emotional beats of the film may have hit harder if he had allowed himself more range in this alternate world.
Ultimately though, it’s a hard film to really critique or judge after just one viewing. That is to say, I’m not actually positive whether the film is more profound and affecting than I realized, or simply more confusing. Whatever the case though, the striking imagery, meticulous pacing and fascinating themes at work here make Vanishing Waves a must-see for any serious fan of sci-fi, or for that matter, of psychological drama.
Young Lukas, highly devoted to his work as a neuroinformatics scientist, becomes involved in an unusual international experiment. By means of neural transfer, he sets out on a journey into the mind of an unknown woman in a coma. With the help of Aurora, Lukas’s private name for his anonymous host, he immerses himself into a world which brings him new experiences and emotions. At the same time, however, these “excursions” begin to fundamentally influence and damage his real life. Is it possible to live in two worlds at the same time? After her provocative debut The Collectress (2008), talented young Lithuanian director Kristina Buožytė returns to the screen with a visually stunning sci-fi romance in an investigation of human desire.
REVIEW: Quiet Earth : Stephen Dalton
A stylish Lithuanian sci-fi thrillerfrom the young female director Kristina Buozyte, Vanishing Waves brings an agreeable dash of Baltic fatalism and romantic melodrama to a traditionally male-dominated genre. This visually impressive inner-space odyssey has just had its world premiere at Karlovy Vary film festival, earning a special jury mention in the section dedicated to Eastern European cinema.
Marius Jampolskis stars as Lukas, a neuroscientist recruited for a morally dubious medical experiment. Repeatedly placed in an induced coma, his mission is to try and enter the mind of an unknown comatose patient. But his fantastic voyage has unseen dangers, not only physical but emotional too. Although it never quite delivers on its enticingly bizarre promise, Vanishing Waves starts strongly with a gripping and mysterious first half. It is not hard to imagine a Hollywood studio remaking this high-concept plot.
Entering the subconscious depths, Lukas senses himself emerging from a mist-shrouded lake onto an idyllic shoreline. In a strikingly modernist wooden villa he meets a beautiful young woman, Aurora (Jurga Jutaite). Their mutual attraction is instant, and soon they are having artfully shot sex. Lots and lots of sex. Returning to the conscious world, an infatuated Lukas chooses to keep these encounters a secret from his colleagues. Instead he launches his own investigation, uncovering her real identity. A coma patient in the hospital, her troubled life hangs by a thread. Can he save her? Should he jeopardise his career and marriage for a fantasy love affair that may prove to be a trick of the mind?
Co-written by its creative director Bruno Samper, Vanishing Waves looks and sounds great. A near-constant sonic backdrop of ambient rock, dissonant drones and avant-jazz noises heightens the sense of creeping dread and mental disorientation. For the film’s high-art production design, Buozyte and Samper cherry-pick from the pantheon of classic sci-fi cinema. The soundproofed flotation room where Lukas begins his experiments has some of the chilly futurism of Kubrick circa 2001, all pristine white and sinister humming machinery. Meanwhile his altered-state affair with Aurora echoes Tarkovksy’s original mind-bending adaptation of Solaris, in which a grieving cosmonaut conducted a bizarre romance with a psychically generated clone of his late wife.
Sadly, for all its visual razzle-dazzle and high production values, Vanishing Waves falls short on the cinematic basics of plot, character and dialogue. The reckless speed with which Lukas gambles his family and job on a budding fantasy romance feels absurdly implausible at best. The English portions of the bilingual script are also clumsily written and flatly delivered, as if the mostly Lithuanian cast have learned them phonetically. Stretching a thin story to two hours, Buozyte allows the dramatic momentum to dissipate. Even the abundant sex scenes, which stray into arty soft porn at times, eventually become tedious.
In fairness, Vanishing Waves is a technically impressive and commendably ambitious work for an inexperienced director who only turns 30 this year. Reportedly made on a budget of around 1.5 million dollars, it feels much more expensive, and maintains an agreeably unsettling atmosphere right to the final frame. Even with its limited handful of locations, it manages to conjure up a broad range of psychedelic dreamscapes, from gleaming digital sunsets to sumptuous open-air beach banquets to a nightmarish, limb-twisting, flesh-melting orgy scene that recalls Brian Yuzna’s cult 1989 class-war satire, Society.
But it is hard to sympathise with such broadly sketched characters, who behave illogically and dangerously throughout, while too many sequences feel like visual effects interludes with scant dramatic significance. Ultimately, Buozyte’s second feature is a triumph of style over substance, but at least it takes you on a fascinating journey before reaching its disappointing destination.
About the Director
Born in Lithuania in 1982, Ms. Kristina Buožytė graduated with a Master degree in Film and TV Directing from Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy (2008). Kristina is a young director who acquired her cinematic practice in doing short movies, music videos and by participating in different workshops and seminars. Kristina was noticed for her short movie Change The Record in 2005. Her first feature The Collectress (graduation work for master degree) won The Best Movie Award in Lithuanian Silver Crane Awards (2008); The Best Director Award in Russian film festival “Kinoshock” (2008) and participated in more than 30 film festivals including Karlovy Vary, Pusan, San Paulo, Valencia, Manheim, Cottbus, and Cairo among others. She is now working as a freelance director in the fields of film, theatre and multimedia as well as developing her next feature film, The Glamour, an adaptation of Christopher Priest novel.