The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film, or Sci-Fi-London is in its eleventh year, and I’ve never been to anything in it before. That’s kind of bad, isn’t it?
This week, though, I’ve been to the presentation of the Clarke Award, which is held in association with the festival, and at its main venue; and last night, the whole family went to the BFI (or the NFT, I can’t quite work out what its official name is these days) to see a film.
Which was Dimensions, a low-budget British film about time travel — or maybe dimension-hopping — which doesn’t even have a distributor yet.
Which is a great shame, because despite some flaws it is a very enjoyable piece. We were still talking about it at lunchtime today.
It’s also something of a costume drama, being set in the 1920s and 30s. The Sci-Fi-London page about it likens it to Merchant-Ivory.
It did show its low-budget nature in one or two places, but nothing that destroys the overall effect. The couple who made it (Ant Neely wrote and composed the original music, and Sloane U’Ren directed and did much else) had to sell their house to fund it, so almost anything can be forgiven.
I won’t say too much more about it here, but if you ever get a chance to see it, you should take it.
There was a Q&A with writer, director, lead actor & editor after the screening, which was very interesting. I was geared up to ask a question, which would have gone something like this: “When you make a time-travel story, especially in Britain, you’re walking among some long shadows, especially Wells and Doctor Who; to what extent would you acknowledge those as influences?” I had my hand up to speak, when the interviewer asked a question touching on exactly those points. So I didn’t ask. Pity. I would also have mentioned the fact that they have a mysterious wise man know only as “the Professor”.
Anyway, lots of fun: highly recommended.