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Swedish festival to screen sci-fi film... in a coffin

By Don Kaye
Goteborg Film Festival - Claustrophobic Cinema Teaser

It's becoming possible these days to watch a movie just about anywhere, on almost any electronic device. But it's probably safe to say that no one has viewed a film inside a coffin... yet.

Well, Sweden’s Göteborg Film Festival is aiming to change that. Held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the fest is celebrating its 40th anniversary by holding "an extremely intimate screening" of a new science fiction film called Aniara inside what it's calling a "custom-made sarcophagus," for an experience dubbed "the world's most claustrophobic cinema." Watch the trailer (screenshot above) for the event:

The reason for the unusual (to say the least) screening environment would seem to be a desire to physically approximate the atmosphere the movie is trying to evoke. Aniara is based on a 1956 novel-length poem by Swedish writer Harry Martinson, in which a spaceship transporting colonists to Mars from a climate-ravaged Earth is knocked off course by a collision with an asteroid. Ejected from the solar system itself, the colonists realize that they will never be able to return and will drift in the cold void of interstellar space forever.

Aniara premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September, and the critics that saw it were split down the middle with their reactions. The movie, a Swedish/Danish co-production, appears from its own intriguing trailer to be an exercise in existential, cerebral sci-fi, more along the lines of Solaris or Arrival than the latest blockbuster about killer robots invading Earth or fathers and sons battling over a galactic empire. Check it out:

Watching such a brooding epic inside a casket might well be the perfect way to soak up the mood, but with IMDb listing Aniara's running time as 1 hour and 46 minutes, the question becomes: Can anyone spend nearly two hours in a tomb without actually being dead?

If you want to test it out yourself and have the means to hightail it to Sweden later this month, more info is available on the festival website. In the meantime, we'll keep our eyes peeled for future updates on when you might be able to watch Aniara in less morbid circumstances — like, say, at your local multiplex or on your couch.

(via The A.V. Club)

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