Sundance Review | FOUR SUNS | "Landscape with Invisible Hand"
For adolescents in Sundance movies, a Coming of Age is always difficult. But what if, besides that, the Earth has been taken over by aliens?
In the film "Landscape with Invisible Hand," from writer-director Cory Finley, set in the mid-2030s, humans have willingly sold out to the Vuvv race due to economic benefits—with resulting changes for education, the legal system, job markets (where many occupations are now obsolete) and class structure.
The Haves live in enclaves floating in the sky. The Have Nots struggling on the surface include Adam Costello (Assante Blackk) and his family, and his schoolmate Chloe Marsh (Kylie Rogers) whose family is rooming in the Costellos’ basement.
To make money, Adam and Chloe pose as a couple for “Courtship," a broadcast much-loved by the aliens. But complicated, self-conscious human feelings coming to the fore upset the aliens, who think that relationships are supposed to be as perfect as “Ozzie and Harriet."
The Vuvvs are stunted little creatures who literally talk with their hands (or flaps). One actor at a Q and A for the film described them as “porcelain turkeys.”
The movie shows details of the Occupation with puckish humor. But it’s serious about the humans living through it, including Adam and his mother, played by the formidable Tiffany Haddish.
It’s worth pausing the movie (if you watch online) to catch the details laid into the story. The revised school-cafeteria menu includes Moon Nuggets.