Fantastic Fest Review: The Antares Paradox: Sci-Fi Thriller In One Place Stays In The End – Screens – Austin Chronicle | World Svings

Sci-fi thriller in a single location stays at the end

In the last few decades, it seems like science fiction has been effectively replaced by post-apocalyptic cinema.

Any scientifically based look into our future can only end in pandemics and catastrophes; The problems plaguing society make it difficult to gaze at the stars with anything but wistful thinking. And while Luis Tinocos The Antares Paradox may struggle to do justice to its main character, it’s still science rooted in hope, and that’s a message that will resonate with many, many viewers.

Astrophysicist Alexandra Baeza (played by Andrea Trepat) has never been afraid to put her career ahead of her family. Even when her father (Jaume de Sans) fell ill, Baeza stuck to her mission: to find evidence of life on other planets. But when she finally discovers a signal that could be evidence of life in other solar systems, Baeza finds herself at the center of a perfect storm of personal and professional stressors. To verify the signal, Baeza must jeopardize her relationship with her family and the future of a multi-million dollar research facility.

As a single location thriller with ties to the Fantastic Fest, The Antares Paradox deserves comparison The guilty, Gustav Möller’s feature film from 2018, which followed in real time a failing police officer. Like this film, Tinoco and company use a mix of cinematic techniques to create an immersive environment for his single character. The production design is excellent – Spain’s SETI lab feels believably cobbled together – and the mix of phone calls and video calls with the outside world gives Baeza’s world outside the lab a sense of spaciousness.

For a time, the film also emulates brutal competence The guilty. During the first half hour, Tinoco’s script takes great care to establish the torn infrastructure of Baeza’s profession. Public funding is dwindling, and other universities are being forced to rent equipment to private organizations to pay the bills. But every time Baeza picks up the phone, she is met with startling disdain or open hostility from peers around the world. By flipping text for subtext – hyping interpersonal conflicts over structural challenges – The Antares Paradox loses much of the competence required to uphold such a simple premise.

If Tinoco keeps his focus on Trepat, The Antares Paradox often glows. But the moment Baeza picks up the phone, the complexities of modern science are reduced to a series of disappointing conversations. Old rivals taunt Baeza, then risk her career to support her, with little to no development between the outcomes. Personal connections also falter in their support of their victims, with the biggest perpetrator being her father’s nurse; We only meet her twice on the phone, but her response to Baeza’s plight can only be described as deeply unprofessional.

And that’s the problem in a nutshell. The Antares Paradox promises to be a hard-hitting sci-fi work that exposes the professional dangers of searching for life on other planets. Instead, the film treats Baeza as STEM-based Ebenezer Scrooge, an aloof careerist who learns empathy when she’s forced to reconnect with her former peers. Tinoco and his crew deserve a lot of credit for their production design and use of screenlife techniques to connect Baeza to the outside world. But in the end, the film can only offer the most superficial approach to an intriguing subject.

The Antares Paradox

world premiere

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