Directed by Roger Armstrong and John Hickman
SCI-FI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2017 runs from 27 April – 6 May https://sci-fi-london.com/
Whilst filming a documentary about recording a dance album that’s going to put Whitley Bay on the musical map (aka his midlife crisis), unemployed producer/DJ Roger, stumbles upon a sound, that he believes can transcend the human consciousness to “the next level”. This ensues a series of home made experiments. However, things soon take a dark turn as the discovery turns to obsession with fatal consequences. Sublimate is a darkly comic account of a man’s disillusionment with the rat race, which sets in motion a disturbing descent into this bizarre sonic experiment.
It’s one of the more different found footage movies, and it works well for the most part, with some solid effects work and some very funny jokes and situations. Even as events start becoming more serious and messy, it retains its humour and manages to keep things going without outstaying its welcome. When it’s at its most grim, the film can be at its funniest. There’s also has a tragic edge to it as well, seeing this man, who clearly needs help, spiral out of control, sick of being stuck in a run down sea side town with nothing to look forward to in life, and trying to make something of himself, only for it to go in a hilarious and grimly different direction.
One could be forgiven for thinking it’s an advert for a particular classified selling website, as you’ll hear the phrase “got it aff Gumtree” several times. That being said, some of those encounters seemed less desirable, so perhaps it has the opposite message going for it instead. Sublimate is a fun, gory and interesting twist on the found footage sub-genre, but with it being as such, also has its limitations. However, the cut and shut approach of the experiments, coupled with some brilliantly dead pan performances are the highlight, and while it may not be reinventing the worn out format, it certainly has fun with it.