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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VANISHING WAVES: A Visual Feast That Could've Used Better After-Dinner Talk
How we know what we know has always been an area of exploration that finds small audience interest in the art-house film scene. Pictures like 2004's ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND kinda/sorta tinkered with memory and memory loss, but I was largely turned off my its endless character quirks and curiously unaligned narrative focus. 1990's TOTAL RECALL with Arnold...
Published 14 months ago by E. Lee Zimmerman

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of THE CELL
This movie reminded me of THE CELL, which justified its mental telepathy more thoroughly, relied in the same way on good, sexy photography, and yet got worse reviews -- though, admittedly, quite a few more of them. Much as many people disliked it, it got a wider audience than VANISHING WAVES will, so perhaps we should be charitable to this insistently beautiful...
Published 8 months ago by James M. Rawley


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VANISHING WAVES: A Visual Feast That Could've Used Better After-Dinner Talk, July 16, 2013
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
How we know what we know has always been an area of exploration that finds small audience interest in the art-house film scene. Pictures like 2004's ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND kinda/sorta tinkered with memory and memory loss, but I was largely turned off my its endless character quirks and curiously unaligned narrative focus. 1990's TOTAL RECALL with Arnold Schwarzenegger took the idea of implanting memories and stuck in it a big budget picture that probably worked best though it really glossed over the more cerebral elements in favor of box office success. Heading back into the 80's, there were some features more commercial in nature - 1983's BRAINSTORM and 1984's DREAMSCAPE - but they too were somewhat forgettable in that they tried to capitalize more on a capitalist or exploitative perspective too all of it.

For my tastes, VANISHING WAVES resembles in many ways 2013's UPSTREAM COLOR, though it comes at similar subject matter from an entirely different point-of-view: it injects our narrator into another person's head, putting him up close and personal in a way that inevitably threatens both their sanity.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and character. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Lukas (played by Marius Jampolskis) is a neuroscience researcher who agrees to have his mind linked to that of a comatose auto-accident survivor named Aurora (a weirdly incandescent Jurga Jutaite). At first, their psychic meetings involve little more than an exchange of curious sights and sounds, but, eventually, Lukas finds himself drawn into her world as a participant. As he's drawn closer and closer to her, their encounters slowly evolve from primal, sexual experiences into a full-blown discussion of sensual delights (pleasure, then pain, then memories). It isn't long before Lukas finds himself drawn - in the material world - toward seeking out and attempting to care for (in subtle ways) Aurora's comatose body.

Therein lies our narrator's central conflict: he's growing more and more captivated by this woman, her life, and her memories. Science - in its purest form - requires that the observer create no attachment to his or her subjects as that'll directly skewer the experiment's results. This forces Lukas to withhold the truth behind these experiences, and thus the entire procedure is jeopardized.

VANISHING WAVES is a smart involvement for the audience, and, as such, it's none to be taken lightly. It's a slow and measured presentation that requires patience on the part of the viewer because answers aren't readily available, and Lukas's revelations take time to grow from the simplistic to those with greater complications and awareness. The initial mystery he's presented, of course, is understanding the female mind he's trapped inside; and there's some clever photography and cinematography that hints at how this is accomplished in his role as psychic observer. It's when he's asked by Aurora to begin administering pain and suffering that he fully comprehends just how far over the threshold he's crossed. This posts his most fundamental dilemma: does he want to ever go back?

Writer/director Kristina Buozyte stages these character discoveries in sequences some might be quick to dismiss as little more than `artistic expression,' but, once it's clear how strongly her characters are linked, the stakes are raised and WAVES becomes a vastly more successful storytelling vehicle. This takes time, as Buozyte goes to great lengths to establish that both Lukas and Aurora are finding exactly what they want in life in their disturbing `unreality' - he finds he can fulfill real human needs while she gets to experience unbridled desire once more. Sadly, the conclusion ends up being entirely predictable ... but, boy, it's quite the journey before the destination lets us down.

VANISHING WAVES (2012) is produced by Acajou Films and Tremora. DVD distribution (stateside) is being handled through Artsploitation Films. For those needing it spelled out perfectly, this is a Lithuanian-spoken release with English subtitles, and there are some sequences of the film spoken entirely in English (which makes for some curious sequences of subtitles popping in and out distractingly). As for the technical specifications, wow! The film's sound and visuals are increasingly used to enhance the sensual experience that so much of WAVES relies on in its first half; it diminishes in the latter, but there are cue sequences (clues) sprinkled throughout. As for the special features, Artsploitation has done an exceptional job with this release: it's a two-disc production including director Kristina Buozyte's first feature film (THE COLLECTRESS), a Cineurope interview with her, the original motion picture soundtrack, and a `making of' short. Additionally, the packaging includes an impressive 12-page collector's booklet featuring a `conversation' with Buozyte and a brief interview exchange with Ms. Jutaite. Nice digs, if you can get `em.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. In some odd ways, I'm reminded of UPSTREAM COLOR (a vastly superior work from earlier this year) and even some cerebral sci-fi of the late 1960's and early 70's. The chief complaint I'd have critically with VANISHING WAVES is that it embraces an almost passionless narrative for far too much of the film, embracing its hard science angle almost until the final third of the picture. Presenting so many images with emotional detachment puts the viewer in the role of deciphering too much of the story, though it's possible if you're watching really, really close to make a best educated guess as what the meaning of the pre-credits sequence truly is (and you'd probably be right). Once it becomes clear, then all of the players deliver an all-too-predictable and all-too-convenient denouement for its forty minutes so deeply invested in transcending borders. Still, it's a smart sci-fi flick - one that'll probably inspire others to try more of the same - and, for that, I'm very thankful.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Artsploitation Films provided me with a DVD copy of VANISHING WAVES by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing Waves, September 30, 2013
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
Can we communicate with the dead? Perhaps since famous magician Houdini's death - probably the most famous case -, that is a question that has been craving for an answer, and not a good one, as far as I know, has been provided. Perhaps we can be more successful trying to establish contact with semi-death persons (comatose, that is). That is precisely the story behind the captivating, intriguing, and at times erotic (depending on what arouses you) "Vanishing Waves."

Lukas (Marius Jamploskis) is a young researcher who lives a steady and apparent tranquil life with his girlfriend. However, their calm days would be end soon, as Lukas volunteers to an experiment in the laboratory where he works. The senior scientists are trying to connect the minds - for a lack of a better word - of a normal, healthy person (Lukas), with that of a comatose one. In this case, they chose Aurora (Jurga Jutaite), a young, beautiful lady, who is in a comatose state. The experiment goes well, and Lukas gets some kind of connection with Aurora, as he is able to go into her thoughts. Despite the success, Lukas is not honest with the researchers, because he lies to them about the results, telling them that he wasn't getting any connection at all. As it happens, the communication gets improving, to the point of reaching erotic encounters (plenty nudity, of course). As expected, Lukas gets more motivated, to the point of obsession, and his involvement cause unexpected results.

"Vanishing Waves" is original and heavy. It is a story of obsession told with intelligence, with great cinematography by Feliksas Abrukauskas, and able direction by Kristina Buozyte. The movie won awards at Fantastic Fest and other European film competitions. The 2-disc set includes a 12- page booklet with an interview with the director, a making-of feature, original motion picture soundtrack, and more. (Lithuania, France, Belgium; 2012; color; 120 min plus additional materials)

Reviewed on September 28, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Arsploitation Films.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of THE CELL, January 6, 2014
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
This movie reminded me of THE CELL, which justified its mental telepathy more thoroughly, relied in the same way on good, sexy photography, and yet got worse reviews -- though, admittedly, quite a few more of them. Much as many people disliked it, it got a wider audience than VANISHING WAVES will, so perhaps we should be charitable to this insistently beautiful movie.

In THE CELL, it was carefully explained that the mind of a mortally ill serial killer had to be entered in order to find the location of his latest victim. In VANISHING WAVES, the set-up is similar -- it is necessary for the hero to enter the comatose heroine's mind -- but only the vaguest account of why he should do so is given. He is a scientist, and his fellow-scientists are in some way researching how the brain works through this telepathic intrusion of theirs. Why it's important they bother a comatose patient so invasively is never explained. What they hope to find out is never explained.

Just as well, because when the hero enters the heroine's mind, the two fall rapidly in love and make love in various brilliantly modern artistic settings. The hero, whose fellow-scientists rely on him to tell them what he does when he enters the heroine's brain, lies to them at once, doesn't tell them he has encountered a woman and had sex with her, and in fact makes up stories about what's really going on.

So much for the important experiment. Of course, since we don't know what's important about the experiment in the first place, we don't much care if the hero messes it all up. But once we accept that the experiment itself doesn't matter, we are left with various incidents in a totally dreamlike love and sex story. To tell any more would be to spoil the ending, but I must warn potential viewers that the ending is preceded by a very long middle section in which everything that happens is dreamlike.

If that's not enough for the dream-lovers in the audience, there are one or two scenes that MAY occur in the dreamland the two lovers share, or may not. So is reality itself sometimes a dream? Be quite confident: not only will I not spoil the plot, but the plot itself will not spoil the plot. You will never know how much of the hero's life is a dream, or how much of the heroine's dream-life is based on reality.

Perhaps you will come up with other questions. If you do, I'd say the odds are five to one the movie will not answer those questions either.

In one sequence, the naked hero chases the naked heroine over a dreamlike shoreline for something like ninety seconds. The sequence is as good as a life-study class on the difference between male and female gluteal muscles in motion. But ... exactly how good is that? There's one more question this beautiful and deeply puzzling movie will not answer. Only its beauty is beyond all doubt. That may well be enough for its more patient viewers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SYNCHRONIZE WITH THE TEST SUBJECT, October 5, 2013
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) becomes part of an altered state experiment by synchronizing his brain waves with a woman in a coma (Jurga Jutaite). They meet and live in a surreal dream world that is slightly bizarre and is sexual. Lukas becomes attached to the girl and has difficulty readjusting to the real world.

This is an indie art film. I found the subject matter interesting, but not always entertaining. 3 1/2 stars

Parental Guide: Sex and Nudity
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2.0 out of 5 stars Careful about believing all the positive reviews..., July 7, 2014
By 
Tue Sorensen (Denmark, Europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
I love watching exotic science fiction movies, and I had been led to believe that this Lithuanian movie was very interesting. According to various reviews, it is apparently interesting to some, but to me it was difficult to sit through. Very slow and very dull, hardly anything happens in its (waaay too long) 115 minutes. For a sci-fi movie, it has almost nothing to do with science. The main character had no depth; he was basically just a liar and a cheat. Immediately, he lies about the experiment he is in, and for far too long the other scientists stupidly don't suspect that anything is wrong. His friend points out the lack of plot logic, yet helps him commit further unethical and unscientific acts. Jeez.

The actual plot is about a comatose girl who unwittingly participates in an experiment to connect her mind with this research scientist (Lukas, the main character). Even though overt interpersonal connection is supposed to abort the experiment, it continues, with Lukas and the girl getting involved in various ways; sort of fall in love. The girl turns out to have been in a car accident, and also has issues with some past lover or husband. To be honest, it was all very, very boring to me, and moved extremely slowly. Sure, there were a few nice scenes here and there, but nothing to make up for the lack of proper plot, science, characterization, etc.

I will recommend this movie to no one who enjoys substance and a bit of action, because none of that is in this movie. You want to scream at it: "Can something please HAPPEN?!" Then ending, too, is unsatisfying and anti-climactic.

I think people who are *not* sci-fi fans will probably enjoy it more than people who are. Sci-fi fans can safely skip this one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, beautiful, sad movie, October 21, 2013
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This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
I promise you that you've never seen anything quite like this Lithuanian movie about an experiment that links the mind of a researcher and that of a comatose young woman. It is beautiful and sexy and disturbing and scary.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A rare miss for me..., October 11, 2013
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This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
Much as I tried to wrap my head around this sic-fi thriller, I just didn't get it. Now this doesn't mean it was a bad movie, just that it didn't do it FOR ME
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie., July 24, 2013
This review is from: Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) (DVD)
I saw it in New York this last winter. Absolutely loved it.
Can't wait for my DVD to arrive in the mail so I could re-watch it again.
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Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD)
Vanishing Waves (2-Disc DVD) by Kristina Buozyte (DVD - 2013)
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