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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Automata - SIFF 2018 Movie Review

The Movie: Automata

The Director: Van Alan

The Cast: Basil Harris, Jen Taylor, Doug Jones, Dylan Smith

The Story: In an alternate 1930's Prohibition-era New York City, it's not liquor that is outlawed but the future production of highly sentient robots known as automatons.

The Review:
Automata is a locally produced web series that was filmed in Seattle and translated to feature format for the film festival. The serialized style of story telling fits the film perfectly as each segment packs it's own bit of a punch and collectively builds the overall story arc. Adapted from a Penny Arcade web comic, the story features a 1930's alternate reality where robots were at one time a part of daily life but have essentially been banned creating an underworld market similar to the days of alcohol prohibition.

There is a bit of social commentary at the heart of the story although it's not shoved in your face, it's more of a backdrop for the classic detective tale we have become familiar with over the years. Director Van Alan keeps things light hearted and the visual style has that distinctive style and swagger that matches the material. You can tell the cast really enjoyed playing their roles with Basil Harris as a standout in the lead role and having Doug Jones on board to provide voice work just adds to the overall cool factor as well.

The Verdict:
Automata is a fun throwback genre series that creates a stylized world you can't wait to see more of. You will be able to see it soon on the internet in web series format and I highly recommend you check it out.

Automata is an official selection of the Seattle International Film Festival.

TwoOhSix.com coverage of SIFF 2018.

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