After its premiere at Locarno Film Festival last year, lauded sci-fi drama LOLA (2022) finally arrives in theaters. Set in 1940 England, LOLA (2022) tells the story of sisters Thomasina “Thom” Hanbury (Emma Appleton) and Martha “Mars” Hanbury (Stefanie Martini), who have built a machine that can intercept radio and TV broadcasts from the future. While the device allows them to get an exciting preview of the world to come, listening to music ahead of its time and embracing their inner punk well before the movement started, the sisters will soon find an even greater use for it. With World War II escalating, they decide to use the machine as a weapon of intelligence, with world-altering consequences.
In his feature debut, director Andrew Legge employs the mockumentary approach to tell his story, centering on footage discovered in old movie reel cans — footage that purportedly reveals the work of the eccentric sisters. Much of LOLA (2022) was shot with period cameras, and the footage was then home-processed in a vintage 16mm developing tank in order to give the movie an authentically aged feel.
LOLA (2022) has been praised by critics as a “gripping and uniquely strange alternative story tale”. After its premiere at Locarno in 2022, the movie was nominated for the Swatch First Feature Award, as well as Best Feature Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival. It also won the award for the best European feature-length film in the fantastic category at Trieste Science+Fiction Festival. Watch the trailer here.