Review: Manchester indie film The Lost Generation premieres at The Plaza ‘Super Cinema’ in Stockport

By Josh Nicholls

The backdrop was unique. The world’s oldest working movie projector was set in motion at Stockport’s Plaza theatre to screen a story of corruption and greed in a future government.

The ‘Super Cinema’ at The Plaza held the world premiere of independent film The Lost Generation on Monday a tale of survival from director and producer Mark Ashmore.

A theatre from a bygone era, the 1930’s to be precise, The Plaza provided an unusual scene to the event with its nostalgic interior of a kaleidoscopic nature on the walls and ceiling.

An unconventional cinema was fitting for the premiere of a film that having being shot on a miniscule budget wrote its own rules.

Mark, who spoke with MM ahead of the film’s release last month, addressed the 150-plus spectators paying tribute to his cast and crew before the lights dimmed and three-years of hard work took centre stage.

The film is a dark exploration into the pitfalls of living in a reality TV-obsessed technological age in a dystopian world.

It follows the journey of twenty-something SJ, played by Victoria Connet, an unemployed nobody who is an alarmingly accurate embodiment of many young people and the problems they face today.

‘Pick me! Pick me!’ she says in her audition for the fictional reality TV show The Lost Generation, smiling with a pitiful desperation to grab her 15 minutes of fame, another worryingly accurate narrative.

Alas her ‘dream’ comes true.

Predictably all on the TV show is not what it seems as SJ soon finds herself in grave danger and crossing paths with a host of ruthless characters.

None more so than the show’s potty-mouthed American producer Kaiser, played by Ian Curley, who happily puts SJ in perilous situations to boost the shows figures and his own bank balance.

A heartless, slightly overweight man with unkempt hair, Kaiser’s character personifies the stab the film takes at reality TV.

Very much a show from hell, the two psychotic Lost Generation presenters Tara (Laura Littlewood) and Tyson (Jermaine Curtis Liburd) are as irritating as the sound of finger nails scraping along a chalk board.

The nauseating falseness of their smiles and enthusiasm leave the audience willing SJ and her compatriots to revolt against the media institution and its detestable employees.

They duly do as guns are fired and blood is shed in the film’s intense finale. 

Throughout the film there is constant interaction between the binary oppositions of the powerful and the powerless, the affluent and the deprived and of course media institutions and the masses.

The Lost Generation world is an anti-utopia where the media rule above all and can manoeuvre the population in any which way they desire.

One only has to watch a reality TV show such as X Factor to see how vulnerable groups are manipulated and to see why the film hints at the dangers of reality TV.

Undoubtedly the greatest flaw of the film is the fact the plot is not water-tight with the roles of certain characters alluded to but not categorically defined.

However the most commendable thing that The Lost Generation does is deal with a modern concept head on without pussyfooting around the negative traits.

In a cinematic climate where stock narratives and characters are often simply rebranded, just look at Spiderman and Batman, finding a truly unique film is a rarity.

There no questioning The Lost Generation’s originality and it is for that reason that it deserves recognition and to be watched.

For more information or to book a seat, click here.

Image courtesy of Future Artists via Distrify, with thanks.

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