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In this sci-fi adventure a gorgeous alien woman is sent to Earth by mistake from the planet Epsilon. Landing in the Australian outback she meets a surveyor and they cross the continent together. However, she spends the trip haranguing him for the ecological recklessness and avarice of the human race. Written by
I'll try, but this is a very unique film with an outstanding cast. It really needs to be seen. Let's just say that had Nick Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth worked this well back in 1976 it would be known today for content rather than David Bowie.
A&E is showing Epsilon under the title Alien Visitor late at night with a few little censorship blurs to hide Ullie Birve's brief nudity, but if they put it up in prime time unmasked for all the world to see I'll bet they wouldn't get one nasty letter.
The plot is similar to TMWFTE or Starman or a dozen episodes of a dozen sci-fi TV shows. A woman from the star (or perhaps planet - we never really know) Epsilon drops in on a lad hiking out in the Australian outback unexpectedly and they fall for each other, but that's where comparisons to most alien visitor plots fade away.
The visitor (Birve) is not happy to be stuck on Earth, a planet reviled throughout the universe for its inhabitants' inability to see their inevitable self-destruction. The Earthling (Syd Brisbane) is just an easygoing guy living a simple life and doesn't really register the reason for her distain. Especially after she illustrates her point by jumping him around on his own planet in the wink of an eye and without even the celestial special effect of a Star Trek transporter.
Director Rolf de Heer uses fixed camera positions to record time passing rapidly mixed with gentle cuts into long fluid pans that effortlessly move the viewer with the main characters as they explore the Earth. It is a wondrous device, only possible in a movie, and we immediately share the Earthling's sense of amazement at the visitor's power over nature's physical laws but also learn with him that magic is the least important aspect of their encounter.
The underlying ecological discourse between the two hasn't lost one bit of relevancy since the film was made in 1995. If anything, the message has become more urgent in the 21st century.
Humans are killing the Earth and something must be done about it - by humans.
Epsilon is beautifully edited and shot by Tania Nehme and Tony Clark. Director Rolf de Heer also played with sci-fi in Encounter at Raven's Gate (1988).
Personally, I'm buying the DVD!
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