SXSW FILM 2016
By Don Simpson | March 16, 2016
Director: Alex Taylor
Writer: Alex Taylor
Starring: Alexa Davies, Antti Reini, Steven Elder, Harry Jarvis, Tallulah Rose Haddon, Lara Peake, Lucian Charles Collier, Kristof Gerega
Alex Taylor’s Spaceship plays homage to the misfits and the outcasts of society. The teenage characters are an amalgamation of hippie, glam, punk, goth, and rave cultures, celebrating individuality and personal freedom with stylistic bombast. The oblique narrative exists on a metaphoric plane, rather than a physical one. Steeped in mythologies, Spaceship is a sublime blend of the metaphysical and the psychedelic.
Whether the teenagers are truly abducted by aliens is relatively inconsequential. It seems more important that they are transcending their physical existence. Taylor focuses instead on the sense of absolute freedom experienced by the teenagers, despite their seemingly impoverished economic stratus. The world around them (Aldershot, England) is dilapidated, practically abandoned; adults are reduced to an endangered species, appearing to have lost control over the rebellious teens. Their world is a playground in which the teens gleefully trip the lights fantastic. They can be vampires; they can believe that they can fly. Anyone who tells them otherwise can obviously be ignored.
A unique experience of both sound and vision, Taylor channels Todd Haynes and Gus Van Sant. It is a transcendent experience that still manages to capture the heart and soul of the teens. No matter how surreal and hallucinatory their world seems, Taylor solidly grounds the motivations of the teens in realism. The characters in this earnest coming-of-age story are powerful reflections of ourselves — especially the outsiders in the audience. This one is for the dreamers, the free spirits, the truly unabashed individuals.