The stark and uncompromising sci-fi/thriller/romance Brand New-U receives its international film premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival today.
Taking in a wide variety of influences and themes, the Simon Pummell (Bodysong, Shock Head Soul) directed and written piece explores the sense of self and identity in an atmospheric, art-house inflected narrative.
The unconventional film follows the central story of young lovers Slater and Nadia (Lachlan Nieboer, Nora Jane-Noone) as they attempt to better their lot with a visit to the organisation Brand New-U. The somewhat nefarious group provides customers with the identification of ‘identicals’, people who are in effect doppelgängers, but ones with different, better lives. Relocations and life-upgrades can then be made, but the price of such soon becomes apparent and Slater must strive to find not only the real Nadia but also himself…
Brand New-U creates a tense and dramatic showing of dream logic. As with all nightmares, the audience is never sure which way it is going to go, and the slow building tension is ramped up in a deliberate and cleverly conceived melange of powerful imagery and visual riffs.
Bringing to mind something of the philosophical concerns of Metropolis and Blade Runner, Brand New-U also plays with generic tropes and calls forth a formidable dose of the lone isolation of thrillers as divers as Point Blank and Memento.
A welcome offering for fans of imaginative fiction, we’ll review in full closer to the general theatrical release.