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Piercing Brightness 2013 ***

Films don’t get much odder than Piercing Brightness, which aims at the kind of trippy, sci-fi weirdness that characterized genre entries from 1982’s Liquid Sky to 2013’s Upstream Color. Sculptor Shezad Dawood’’s narrative isn’t quite as inscrutable; two Chinese aliens arrive in the metropolis of dreams that is modern day Preston, on a mission to retrieve the Glorious 100; previous missions who have come to earth and somehow lost their purpose. Dawood manages to conjure up some bizarre and hauntingly beautiful images, even if the pay-off is far to obviously influenced by Close Encounters to resonate. The acting and narrative drive are uncertain, but Piercing Brightness is a strange little addition to the UK’s sci-fi traditions.

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