Ederlezi Rising (2018) Poster

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Bland and derivative
TiberiusCaesar26 February 2018
I'll try to be as objective as possible, therefore even though I am from Serbia I won't give this movie a pass "just because it's ours" or because of its' small budget. Also, no spoilers.

At first I was very surprised by the visuals - the movie started and it looked genuinely good...at first, before you realize that the filmmakers had only 2, maybe 3 small sets and that the film is visually very repetitive (even some of the same shots are used multiple times). That in itself isn't such a huge issue, seeing how there are plenty of films that take place in a single location but they compensate for their visual simplicity with an interesting story and engaging performances, something that's very much lacking here. As for the visual effects, they are ok by early 2000s standards.

The music was good and well implemented. The standout piece for me is Arvo Part's "My Heart's in the Highlands" which was also used in "The Great Beauty" (a good film worth checking out if you're not into conventional films or if you're a fan of Fellini).

The performances are not great. Sebastian Cavazza's performance as the astronaut Milutin is either bad or at best mediocre (I don't know if I can blame him, the director or the poor script for that). Milutin has no real depth and I struggle to describe his personality beyond saying that he's an astronaut with a gruff voice who swears a lot and is horny (oh, and a bit sad, I guess). At one point in the movie we are told that he's severely depressed and if it weren't for that line I would have never guessed that that's where he's at emotionally, you just can't feel it. The few times Cavazza tries to convey emotions that aren't anger and frustration his performance is borderline laughable. Stoya, who plays the part of Nimani, did her job...ok. She plays the part of an emotionless android with a few preprogrammed emotional settings well enough, nothing noteworthy though.

The story is very derivative. If you've seen a film that deals with AI than there's nothing here that you haven't seen before and done way better. The plot is bare bones and shallow with plenty of meandering (albeit aesthetically pleasing) shots of the same 2 (or 3) sets of the ship or of Nimani standing/sleeping/levitating around the ship - shots that don't progress the plot in any way or give any information to the viewer - they're just there to stretch the runtime of the movie. The questions this film raises are raised in other, better movies/TV shows (most notably "Her", "Ex Machina", both "Blade Runner" movies and "Westworld") and done so with more nuance. If you're someone who just wants to watch a movie to pass the time you'll probably find this movie boring and bland, on the other hand if you're someone who wants to experience a deep and meaningful film you'll find it lacking as well.
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stamatron26 February 2018
Usually I can review a movie in one short sentence, but now when I am faced with the task of reviewing this one in particular I couldn't think of much... Except "space" - and I am not referring to the location of the movie itself.

This movie dealt with a very interesting topic of what it means to be human, both in the meaning of one's existence and the interactions that form what and who we are. And that could be exploited in depth but it wasn't, unfortunately. One could expect more drama from this topic, more emotion - mostly desperation, and of course more dialogue that spurs out of this desperation. In the first part of the movie I expected to see more frustration with the boundaries that limit an android in it's interaction with a live human being that would ultimately lead a human to take a big risk to change the android. In the other part of the movie, after the change, we could have seen more drama and desperation caused by this change, but it fell flat on this. We got a very mellow story, but a story nevertheless.

If you take a great movie that deals with the exact topic - "Her" and compare the drama of it to this one, you can exactly see what I am trying to describe. Or for instance the episode S02E01 "Be right back" of "Black Mirror" where a late loved one can be brought back as an android. Or even the book "Solaris", which I could notice a slight homage to throughout the movie. Even at one point where you can see a detailed retina one can get reminded of the intro of the "Westworld" series, even the music score at that point is very reminiscent of that series. Westworld is also a good example of this topic exploited to some extent.

On the other hand the visuals were very satisfying as well as the musical score. They reminded me a bit of "The Fountain" which is also a good example of the artistic visuals and a deep philosophical story. But that's it. It's just space.

What was a bit of annoying for me is the design of the ship. If this vessel was a part of the rocket and set free after entering the orbit that would be scientifically accurate. The vessel as it was could not withstand the friction of the atmosphere. Also you don't launch a rocket 90 degrees up (well yeah at the first moment of the liftoff), it should enter the orbit in an angle, this was necessary to be portrayed if this vessel will use gravitational slingshoting further on... But this was not the goal of the story, so I left it be.

Also the whole vessel interior was very small and ridiculously organised. (I understand why though) But a window positioned to look in between the back motors made no sense... Also a big question that arises is if Milutin took shorter voyages before but alone, what was he doing to pass the time? In that small interior there was nothing to do.

This movie has a generous 8 stars from me (deserves 7 at best), since it is a first of its genre made in Serbia. I believe it took a tremendous effort to do all this and great enthusiasm of its creators. I salute them for it and I hope many movies like this to come, and even better of course!
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astonishing atmospheric experience
sofia2810 May 2018
Interesting that this film is coming from such a small country. Saw it in Vienna film festival. Visually stunning story about relationships, emotions and now more than ever important question of AI VS. Humans. Relationship between actors, photography and music are exceptional giving astonishing atmospheric experience.
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suvopek26 February 2018
Unexpectedly good! Great SF comic book like atmosphere created (photograph and music). Recommend to the ones who are not looking for main stream movies.
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