Listening, 2014 - ★★★★½

Listening, 2014 - ★★★★½

"Whats more important changing the world or changing us?" - Melanie (Christine Haeberman)

Superlative, cocksure science fiction debut by Khalil Sullins, is like a movie version of The Flaming Lips 'Race For the Prize'. Its about a pair of cognitive science students David (Thomas Stroppel) and Ryan (Artie Ahr), who develop a brain to computer interface which enables a form of electronic telepathy. When the government find out and hijack the project for their own malicious mass mind control agenda, one of the young developers seeks a solution to win back his creation.

"Listening' is intelligent, but not in an off putting way. I loved it, where the hell did Khalil Sullins come from? excluding Alex Garland's who with respect has been in the business years, phenomenal Ex_Machina, its the best sci-fi themed debut since Primer, hell maybe even THX 1138. After the slow 15 or so minutes build-up I was gripped, and admittedly waiting for it to collapse into a mess, but it never did for me, what minor quibbles I could throw at it would be harsh for a first time feature.

Even the actings amazing for such an unknown cast, especially from Stroppel, Ahr and the foxy Amber Marie Bollinger as Jordan. So many great moments - the initial test, David revealing too much voyeurism while showing his wife what he's been working on, that sister assassination scene, the Buddhist stuff and damn that climax hit my mind and emotions like Cronenbergs 'Dead Ringers'. Shame it seems to have polarized peoples opinions, possibly I've overrated it slightly, but this type of cold cerebral government paranoia plot is exactly my kinda thing. 2015's quickly turning into a stellar year for sci-fi and so many more goodies to come. I can't wait to see what Khalil Sullins does next, hope he sticks to science themed movies.

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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