I have always been a fan of science fiction films, ever since i first saw Close Encounters Of The Third Kind from director Steven Spielberg. I was probably around 7 years old when i saw this film the first time on VHS, and this was the film that started my sci fi curiousity. Of course i watched all the Star Wars films, and Star Trek films of the 70´s and 80´s as well eventually, but Close Encounters Of The Third Kind will always be special to me. If i had to choose sci fi films, i actually prefer independent films. Why ? Simply because most sci fi independent films are more interesting, for a number a reasons. They usually have more interesting stories, the creativity level of design, special effects and interesting characters than the big budget Hollywood films. With a limited budget, you have to be able to make the film work on a completely different level, than if you have a 200 million dollar budget. There are a number of really good independent sci fi films to choose between. But let´s talk about one specific title, of a film i really appreciate in this genre. The 2016 sci fi film known as Midnight Special, is directed by Jeff Nichols ( who also directed the very well made psychological thriller drama Take Shelter ). Midnight Special tells the story of Roy Tomlin ( really good played by actor Michael Shannon ) who escape with his biological son Alton Meyer ( also a great performance from young actor Jaeden Martell ) from government and a religious cult. Midnight Special is a really powerful sci fi independent film, that have really strong performances and great looking special effects. This is a must have on DVD or Blu Ray, with some interesting special features included. I recently got a chance to see the new independent sci film Project Ithaca on DVD, that caught my attention. Is this a sci fi film for fans of this genre, or is Project Ithaca a film that will most likely be forgotten ?
A group of strangers wake up on board an alien spacecreaft. They are being held prisoner by some kind of alien lifeform, and no one knows why they are chosen. As they start to communicate with each other, it seems that everyone is from different time periods, both from the past and the future. Why are they here, and why have they been taken from different years ?
I am always happy to see an independent film, that remind me of sci fi films, but still manage to combine different ideas into the plot. If you have seen the 1993 cult classic film Fire In The Sky from director Robert Lieberman, imagine the style of that film ( inside the space ship ), except with a different concept, and you have Project Ithaca. Of course i can´t say these films have much else in common, but they even mention Fire In The Sky in the film ( so there is clearly an inspiration from that film in here ). The trapped people who is hold by some kind of alien lifeform, comes from different time periods in history. And this is an interesting detail, what if you woke up on board an unknown spaceship, and found out you have all been chosen from different years, both from the past and the future ? I think this is a really interesting concept for a sci fi film. Let´s get into the characters. The most interesting characters for me personally, is rock star Zack Chase ( played by actor Alex Woods, who you might have seen in the TV series Covert Affair ). Zack is clearly a man who is struggling to accept the situation. I especially like the character known as John Brighton ( played by actor James Gallanders, who some of you might remember from Bride Of Chucky ). John is clearly a man who is a survivor, and you can tell he might know more about what is going on inside this spaceship, than the rest of the abducted people. The female actors Konima Parkinson Jones and Deragh Campbell both deliver characters you are curious about. Even if i enjoy this film, i will say that i feel that they could have used the alien scenes more effective than what we get. This film focus more on how the characters handle the situation being trapped, but we don´t really get that much information on who these creatures are. If you enjoy independent sci fi films, i do believe you might find yourself enjoying this film for trying something different in the sci fi genre. Project Ithaca is a nice attempt to make a sci fi film with a different tone than most Hollywood productions. Director Nicholas Humphries is a name i hope we hopefully will see do more sci fi films in the future, he is clearly on to something positive in this genre.