Landscape With Invisible Hand unwinds with a very unique atmosphere that at once combines social satire and science fiction. A noticeable Bradbury vibe exudes over the story.
In the near future after first contact, the Earth is filled with floating cities housing the rich who’ve learned the alien language and taken advantage of the aliens’ advanced technology. Meanwhile most people, many homeless, live on the ground beneath and eke out a kind of repressed living.
Sometimes you feel that writer/director Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds) has bitten off more than he can chew. And yet at other times the narrative really gels together and has emotional heft.
The aliens seem to be from the same universe as the aliens in Joe Dante’s Explorers. They at first look cartoonish but after a while you become used to the Vuvv with their strange way of speaking and asexual demeanor.
The two lead characters – played by Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers – display an innocence that suggests conviction of their purpose in life. With few existing jobs in the new society, they decide to monetize their budding romance by allowing the aliens to experience their thoughts and emotions as they go on dates. As their respective single parents, Tiffany Haddish and Josh Hamilton give full tilt exceptional supporting performances.
The soundtrack has a sly way of using a theremin sound, although it sounds more like a synthesizer. This ethereal sound is echoed by the use of the Skeeter Davis song “End of the World,” which itself replicated the theremin voice with a guitar modulated by a volume pedal.
This heady sci-fier that plays more like an art film will attract sophisticated movie fans but also skews teens with its Young Adult style parody. The title reflects the name Blackk uses for one of his paintings. His art is seen throughout the movie and doubles as a chapter heading for various plot points.