One of the things I really love doing on this blog is introducing all of you to great new films that may not be on your radar – but really deserve some recognition. As such, when I recently discovered a fantastic little Sci-Fi Drama called “Embers” I simply HAD to share it with you all. Embers is set in a world where everyone on the planet is infected with this disease which causes random memory loss at any time. Through 5 intertwining stories we see the effects that loss of memory has on people, asking big questions such as “what makes us human?” and “without memories are we really alive?”.
Something that really sets this film apart from most I have seen recently is the concept. Anyone who knows me knows that I really love it when directors use the medium of film to talk about deep, sophisticated themes. This is an area where Embers really shines. What first time director Claire Carré does with the concept of memory is truly remarkable. Using it to deconstruct the way we perceive time in moments, by removing the concept of a past and a future, Carré focuses on making the individual moments matter. The film doesn’t talk down to the audience, or treat the audience like they’re stupid – and I really appreciate that. It’s not afraid to drop you into the middle of the action and leave you to pick up the pieces. Nothing in this film feels unnecessary or overly expositional, we learn everything about this world with the characters, which is quite a gamble for a film like this. But it really works!
Embers is also one of the most tonally interesting and unique things I have seen so far this year. One moment it’s strangely comedic in the same vein as something like “The Lobster” by Yorgos Lanthimos, the next it hits you around the head with some genuinely heart-breaking parts that were really poignant. The cinematography by Todd Antonio Somodevilla, is absolutely stunning and walks the line between being incredibly beautiful and “dream-like” in parts, to capturing a certain visceral feel in the more intense scenes. This, coupled with the subtle yet magnificent music by Kimberly Henninger and Shawn Parke, which swirls and builds throughout, helps create a really great sense of atmosphere. For a first independent feature film the production value is genuinely fantastic. The majority of the film takes place in desolate, destroyed buildings scattered with rubble and rubbish. Yet you get the sense that everyone involved put a lot of effort into making the world of the film seem real and translating the director’s vision.
The performances are also really incredible, utilising a cast of largely unknown actors throughout. I was particularly blown away by Jason Ritter and Iva Gocheva, who play a couple that wake up next to each other and awkwardly discover that they may (or may not) be married. Greta Fernández also did a great job at playing an isolated teenager whose rich father has kept her in confinement in order to prevent her from catching the memory wiping disease.
Truth be told I really loved this movie! This year in cinema has been an incredibly mixed bag for the most part, and it gives me great joy to see independent directors like Claire Carré thrive and make such “memorable” films (if you’ll excuse the pun 🙂 ). If you’re a fan of TV shows like Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” or enjoy films that dare to be unique and intelligent, then you’ll really love Embers
I give Embers – 9.0 🙂
If you’re interested in this film at all then you should totally check it out on Flix Premiere. You won’t regret it! Thank you so much for your all your continuing support (it means a lot!!). If any of you have any films or TV shows that you want me to watch/review, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Till Next Time … DUDE OUT!!