DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Vanishing Waves (2012/2013)

An innovative and surreal low-budget sci-fi feature out of Lithuania, of all places.

Published on July 15, 2013

Vanishing Waves (2012/2013)

Director: Kristina Buozyte
Cast: Marius Jampolskis, Jurga Jutaite
Music: Peter Von Poehl
Studio: Reel Suspects/Art Sploitation Films (2-DVD set) [7/23/13]
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD color
Audio: Lithuanian, French & English PCM stereo, DD 5.1 surround
Subtitles: English
Extras: (on Disc 2:) Entire first feature film by Buozyte The Collectress, Cineruopa interview with Buozyte, “The Making of Vanishing Waves,” Complete original score soundtrack, Trailers, 12-p. collector’s booklet with interviews with director and actress Jutaite.
Length: 120 minutes (Extras: 110 minutes)
Rating: ****

This is a combination Lithuanian, French and Belgian production, and the second feature by a young filmmaker who is still studying film at Lithuania. It succeeds in stretching any limitations of the sci-fi genre while providing plenty of ideas to think about. And all on a not-extravagant budget.

The male lead, Lukas, is a scientist taking part in some heavily-monitored sensory deprivation experiments attempting to take some sort of contact with the mind of a subject, Aurora. She has been in a coma for some time following a car accident in which her husband was killed.  The experiment takes an unexpected turn when Lukas and Aurora develop a strong link in their altered consciousnesses, and it quickly becomes a very strong romantic and sexual relationship, against the surreal surroundings of their dreamscapes. This romance causes Lukas’ relationship with his girlfriend in real life to end. Lukas withholds what is happening in their collective minds from the researchers until their bond is threatened. There’s a lot of nudity, but it’s handled well. It was surprising that in the laboratory, the scientists mostly spoke English to one another.

The second disc is packed with extras, including the entire first film by the director, which obviously had an even lower budget. The making-of documentary is worth viewing, and this may be a first in which the entire music soundtrack is included separately with the feature film. Quite a provocative film and different from anything else in this genre.

—John Sunier

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