Landscape with invisible hand is a unique story of survival under economic occupation by the Vuvv, an alien race bent on dominating humanity by any means necessary, except by force. Written and directed by Cory Finley (Bad education, Thoroughbreds), the innovative, gripping film explores how humanity might cope with a Earth-changing alien occupation and the resulting clash between class and commerce.
Based on the book by MT Anderson, the film begins with a series of drawings and paintings by Adam Campbell (Asante Blackk). His art documents how times have changed over a 10-year period from when he started drawing until he turned 17 in 2036. It depicts life before and during the alien invasion by the Vuvv, who are described as sticky, four-legged, box-shaped aliens with hard, padded limbs that they use as a way to communicate. The wealthy sold out the community by joining the idea of technological advancements that resulted in the loss of human jobs, outdated education, food shortages, and poverty.
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At school, Campbell meets Chloe (Kylie Rogers), whose family is homeless, and because he has a crush on her, Adam invites her and her family to stay at his house without asking his mother Mrs. Campbell (Tiffany Haddish).
The new living situation is awkward for everyone, especially Chloe’s proud father (Josh Hamilton) and embittered older brother (Michael Gandolfini), but the young couple devise a way to make money by livestreaming their romance to the aliens living in floating cities. living. in the air. Once the relationship breaks down, the teens are told they are being charged with faking their romance. Mrs. Campbell has an encounter with a powerful Vuvv lawyer, Shirley, which leads to one of Shirley’s children spending a week with the Campbells to understand human love and connection. This sends both families into a spiral of chaos as they learn to live with this alien entity as they try to survive life and each other.
It is strange that the parents leave these adult decisions to these children without advice or anything. Adam and Chloe are not interesting as a couple, but they shine separately. He’s idealistic through and through, which is why he’s in these legal troubles in the first place. Letting a stranger into your house because you’re in love with them? And your mother agrees? Yes, she tries to protect her family from homelessness and earn as much money as possible to support them. Now they are being charged with breaking a contract they didn’t know they were in.
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The film deals with issues of class, gender, and economics, but the least discussed topic is race. The dynamic between these families allows us to see bigotry manifest, but the Campbells are not allowed to address it in an impactful way, which misses the mark of being 100 percent intersectional. Mrs. Campbell and Chloe’s father often argues; he insults her and insinuates that he is better than her, and she just puts up with it? How realistic is that in any capacity?
Sue Chan’s production design is the strongest element of Landscape with invisible hand. The genius of it all is the subtle and small differences that make the environment seem inhabited. Without these design details, buying this concept would be a challenge. It’s good to know that the near future may not look much different (aside from the alien invasion, of course).
This isn’t just another alien movie, it’s a political statement, along the lines of Neill Blomkamp or Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. It’s not a movie about killing aliens or dodging laser beams, but about the economics of an alien invasion: how do you live with them and how does this shape future human interaction? In this story, the Vuvv are stand-ins for the oligarchy. Even educated people treat these things as garbage.
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Landscape with invisible hand slow describes the decline of American society. The money and resources belong to the aliens who control every aspect of humanity. Schools are being closed so students can learn about Vuvv history at home, the human workforce is being displaced and priced out by machines, people are being forced to adapt to a culture they know nothing about because the 1 percent has blacked out the Earth. Sounds familiar? It’s a reflection of the future if we don’t get it together.
There is a scene where Adam talks about resilience, the hallmark of human life. In the face of adversity, there is no choice but to confront economic oppression and political turmoil head-on.