‘Vesper’ Review: Resourceful European Sci-Fi Offers Glimmers of Beauty at the End of the World

‘Vesper’ Review: Resourceful European Sci-Fi Offers Glimmers of Beauty at the End of the World
Should the apocalypse strike and any of us happen to survive it, you can’t accuse the movies of leaving us unprepared. Dystopian futures are a dime a dozen in science-fiction cinema these days, with a generally shared aesthetic that leads us to expect, for better or (probably) worse, a lot of damp, ashy slurry and unflattering sackcloth. In some ways “Vesper,” with its drenched khaki palette and all-encompassing air of ruin, conforms to this forecast. In others, Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper’s solemn, elegant fantasy surprises with its textured, sometimes iridescent world-building: There’s beauty to be found in this vision of Earth in a state of ecosystemic collapse, even if it’s hard-won and harder still to nurture.

Premiering in the main competition strand of this year’s Karlovy Vary festival, “Vesper” marks a long-awaited return to feature filmmaking for Lithuanian director Buozyte and her French writing partner Samper,
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