LCC Student Writing: Ghosts in the Machine

This year, LSFF collaborated with the London College of Communication (LCC) BA Film and Screen Studies and lecturer Ed Webb-Ingall to commission students to write reviews of some of our festival strands. Several students on the course also volunteered at the festival, to whom we are eternally grateful for all of their hard work.

Change, Reset

Reality is augmented, rearranged, and otherworldly in this techno surrealist realm . As the film progresses, the grip on what we know to be real fades away to this colorful hyper-pop dreamscape.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on

A modern reinterpretation of a collection of Shakespearean excerpts. With the current culture moving in towards the direction of having an online ‘meta’ verse and conversations surrounding the impact of video games, one individual attempts to perform these well-known plays in a notoriously violent space.

It Feels Personal

“Whether you own it or not, does it really matter?” In a time where privacy, and content ownership is highly brought up and debated, one man makes it his mission to find the ‘meme thief’ that stole his video and went viral. This comedy turned heartfelt film brings awareness to copyright while begging the deeper question of , if it makes people happy, who cares?

Wave 3 (Cancelled?)

Director Edward Smyth gives audiences a peak into his incredibly creative mind through use of costume design, storytelling, and visual effects. He paints a picture of these people and like the Greek monster Medusa, essentially turns them into these plastic action figure statues. He gives them all eternally frozen faxes and poses which continue to create the allure behind these already interesting people.

the grannies

Friendship, Comradery, and adventure. Are they any less real when they're in a video game? A group of engineers, known virtually on the game Red Dead Redemption as ‘The Grannies’ set on a goal to go beyond the invisible wall in the game and explore what goes on ‘behind the curtains.’ What they find makes them question their reality, their humanity, and their concept of ‘the natural world.’

MyCelium Systems

This beautiful collage of videos entrances the viewers with naturalistic themes. The use of symmetry, music, and moving image is hypnotic in the way that it is so fantastical yet so realistic while all being incredibly surreal.

Kareyni Davis

Four grannies, armed with pistols and an old-school camera, are wandering through the vast artificial landscapes of the cowboy game’s – “Red Dead Online’s” – Americana. Their wild wild west, however, is all but wild: an escape from our fully mapped offline world is exchanged for a seemingly boundaryless online one, with its slick surfaces hiding the inner mechanisms that hold its universe together – and its quests making one forgetful that boundaries are still within hand’s reach.

That is, until The Grannies – a group of friends who, just like the true American pioneers before the dawn of the 20th century, were already exploring the game’s virtual frontiers for months – take a road less travelled by. On top of a hill, this time it is not the vistas they are after, but the great beyond – a point where Red Dead’s universe finally starts to break. And that makes all the difference.

By resisting the logic of the game – the never-ending consumption of experiences, stories and goals – the grannies enter a world on a brink of collapse, that’s seemingly no more than a bug waiting to be fixed. Yet if one dares to go far enough into its post-apocalyptic wilderness, it might become a place where all definitions suddenly dissolve – making space for the invention of a brand-new language, articulating a reality beyond the rules set by the manual of the cowboy game.

In a world that feels like a pre-packaged piece of furniture from your nearest IKEA, Marie Foulston’s short is an invitation to stop making sense.

Martyna Ratnikaite