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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'HYPERCONNEXION'
- Directed by Debru Nicolas -

Hyperconnexion is a sci-fi tale about the perils of letting artificial intelligence in charge of human lives.

An AI scientist installs the latest version of his own life-management software called Xenia for his parents. This programme is one-stop-shop for many of the functions many people already use nowadays: a smart home system and a virtual assistant that tackles your agenda. Its futuristic function is the possibility to take over a person’s car and drive it to the destination.

Happy and proud to have just been upgraded with their son’s advanced program, the aged couple leaves for vacation, letting the AI take control of their car, but the events take a tragic turn along the way.

The visual style of the short is effective in building suspense, the viewer constantly gets to see the parents from the perspective of their objects, animated by the machine learning system and thus can anticipate a potential risk, waiting in suspense for it to be revealed.  The use of high-angle shots suggests the constant watch of the invisible character of the film - Xenia. The diegetic soundtrack adds to the big-brother feel of this film, while the inventive editing serves the same purpose.

However, the dialogues seem to be a little unpolished. We hear the parents say incessantly how thrilled they are to have the latest version of Xenia, how smooth their trip is going and how well they feel, but we don’t get to really see these happening. The characters don’t have much chemistry and adding to that the inconsistent lines, it results in a flat acting performance.

The story unfolds at a fast pace and not much action gets to happen, so the audience is left in mind with the intention of the creative team rather than with an impression on the piece of work. The characters don’t have a background in order to be relatable, a thing highly necessary to make a narrative work.

The perils of letting technology manipulate our lives and the risk of artificial intelligence turning against humans are themes that have already been often tackled in moviemaking, so the script can’t count on the novelty of the idea.

All things considered, Hyperconnexion is a good piece of work in terms of cinematography, editing, and sound design, but lacks a consistent plotline and a functional dialogue.