Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sci-Fi Sunday: Imitation Girl Is A Beautiful Epiphany Wrapped In A Extraterrestrial Clone


*slight spoilers ahead

Living and life involves developing a sense of self. When prompted, we often describe ourselves in a group of adjectives, commonly, a group that reflects opposites and contradictions to the word used before it. By extension, our actions, depending on mood and circumstance give others maybe just one descriptor while in a different space, another. And we are all guilty of looking at someone with limited knowledge; judging by one descriptor when we know ourselves as many. The human condition is simple despite our flawed assessments; we are all many things. Iranian filmmaker Natasha Kermani's science fiction revelation Imitation Girl delivers this thought stream when, from an undisclosed part of the universe, a form in the image of a New York party girl in the adult entertainment industry appears on earth as a remembrance of these ideas. 

Loss, innocence, re-birth, and found are quiet, introspective themes running through two parallel stories as phenomenal actress Lauren Ashley Carter (Darling) puts in a double shift as the Imitation that falls upon two, youthful Iranian immigrants who graciously take part in its growth in a new world while New Yorker Julianna teeters at a crossroad of her fast-paced existence. Both childlike and worldly, they are one in the same not just in looks, but there is a clear intention of the assurance that what see, even separated by light years is actually one. The Imitation is simply a part of Julianna she fears has vanished. Kermani adds snippets of her past and Carter offers to share the fluid actions and emotional beats that run through a burning need to see her win. Everything the Imitation finds on this planet comes full circle with Julianna in a way that is an honest and satisfying conclusion to such a strong story.

Imitation Girl works in stimulating our thoughts about who we are while maintaining a healthy investment in both Julianna and the Imitation as the everyday people we know, pass by, or are acquainted with. It's sci-fi in its purest form. It feels like a new way of presenting the universe that expels the distraction of judgment and turmoil of our own being. This excellent film undercuts our insecurity with a healthy reassurance that while there are variations in each moment of our lives, there are core elements that bind us all. Kermani makes great use of her interests in sound, culture, science fiction that are so delightfully authentic, I'm excited to see her dive even deeper into the philosophical realm that the genre cherishes.

Imitation Girl is playing at the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival on 
Thursday, September 28th at 7:00PM - Purchase your ticket here.


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