Pulpy and dystopian, Caradog W. James’ The Machine is the perfect bedtime night snack for all you CUFF fanatics out there. Wearing its influences on its sleeve, James’ film is the product of a mind that has been soaked in the lore of films such as Blade Runner and Metropolis, with just a dash of mid-20th century political paranoia. As Britain is in the grips of a cold war with China, the Ministry of Defence is working to create the perfect A.I. to run their “more-human-than-human” androids.
Visually, the film boasts a tried-and-true “in the near future” sci-fi aesthetic. Bathed in deep black with punches of fluorescent colour, the film reminds one of the look of Blade Runner’s neon lit underbelly. On the auditory side, a creeping, slithering synth is the perfect (and only) musical accompaniment the film requires to truly solidify its tone. This is where its b-film roots come through the strongest, as well.
But, what happens when a machine becomes more intelligent, more powerful, more deadly than a human? To find out, you’ll have to follow Vincent (Toby Stephenson), the lead scientist, as he struggles between the ethics of his duties, his personal life and how to stop the robots from taking over.
The Machine will be screened as part of CUFF on April 12 at 7:30 p.m.
By Rory O’Dwyer