Houston, We Have a Problem!London Film Festival 2016
7th October 2016 6.30pm at Prince Charles Cinema
8th October 2016 12.00pm at Vue West End
Slovenian director Žiga Virc has dubbed his film “docu-fiction” and it’s perhaps the most fitting description of Houston, We Have a Problem! Presented as fact, the movie recounts a supposed deal between Yugoslavia and the US during the Cold War where the Yugoslavian space programme was sold, a conspiracy theory that has grown popular in recent years owing mostly to Virc’s own input. Made up of real archive footage and recordings – some genuine, some doctored – and the journey of a supposed Yugoslavian engineer sent to NASA in the 60s who returned home to Croatia, Houston will certainly not be enjoyable to everyone but for the right crowd, the picture’s consistent witticism and winks are sure to please.
Despite being presented as truth, it’s obvious to the more discerning viewer from the outset that nothing presented in the forthcoming movie should be taken seriously. Philosopher Slavoj Žižek opens Houston talking about the paradox of belief and pops up periodically throughout to comment on the goings on, hammering home the notion that “even if it didn’t happen, it’s true”. The soundtrack is cheerfully overdramatic, the editing is seamless and though the tale of the returned Yugoslavian engineer reuniting with his estranged is often a little too on-the-nose, the film is a fascinating and entertaining piece of media. Even those who find this particular brand of humour a little too wink-wink-nudge-nudge will have to admit it is an interesting exercise in storytelling.
It’s clear Virc didn’t intend people to accept Houston, We Have a Problem! as truth despite it bamboozling audiences at the Tribeca film festival. It’s less Bill Hopkins’s Dark Side of the Moon, and more a commentary on how willing people are to believe in conspiracies when presented the right information, even when it is one as preposterous as this.
Houston, We Have a Problem! does not have a UK release date yet.
For further information about the 60th London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Houston, We Have a Problem! here: