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"Et si c'était tout simplement du talent ?" — Ilan Ferry, ÉCRAN LARGE
Director: Nicolas Alberny, Jean Mach
Screenplay: Nicolas Alberny, Jean Mach
Cast: Matthew Géczy, Robert William Bradford, Alain Azerot, Eloïssa Florez, Michael Hofland
Producers: Guillaume Letellier
Distributor: M.A.D. Films
2008 | 12 min
French language, English subtitles
They are of all nationalities, all professions and creeds. They’ve never met face to face but they share a common secret. Together they form a clandestine community based in 8th Wonderland, the planet’s first virtual country. Motivated by the same goal, they communicate daily to concoct strategies for counteracting the Machiavellian plans of the world’s capitalist societies and create a land on Earth where, at last, peace reigns. After disabling a project that might have started a war, 8th Wonderland finally attracts the attention of the global media and with it, that of anti-terrorist organizations. Risking the worst, the inhabitants of the synthetic nation elect to move ahead with plans to impose their laws on all the world’s leaders. A new era is beginning to emerge, even if it’s threatened buy the sudden intrusion of someone claiming to be the creator of 8th Wonderland.
Easily one of the most fascinating genre films of the last half-decade, 8TH WONDERLAND, by newcomers Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach, is a triumph on every level. By imagining an alternate world that would no doubt have intrigued Jean Baudrillard, the French filmmakers offer a smart consideration of the place of new media in contemporary society. The undeniable political power of Web communities has never been so effectively presented in cinema. Though editorial commentary is the leitmotiv, Alberny and Mach dodge intellectual heavy-handedness by incorporating it into a gripping story of suspense, a conspiracy tale loaded with humour, tension and surprising twists and turns. This captivating trip across the Web culminates in a climax that matches that of Park Chan-wook’s OLDBOY in its impact. With a multitude of mini-stories woven into a massive narrative and a precise and original use of the split screen (the scenes occurring inside the 8th Wonderland site are a feast for the eyes), Alberny and Mach succeed where Zack Snyder failed in his transposition of the spirit of Alan Moore’s comics to the big screen. 8TH WONDERLAND may well be the film of its generation, for whom Facebook and Twitter are part of a daily existence split between the real and the virtual, one that demands justice and equality for those denied them, one that wants to see its utopian dreams at last realized.