Director: Giordano Giulivi
Cast: Alessandro Zonfrilli, Carlotta Mazzoncini, Duccio Giulivi
Production Company: AstroLab Pictures
Runtime: 105 minutes
We’d all like to believe that our decisions aren’t predetermined by fate. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. Then again… I could be wrong. Director Giordano Giulivi drops us in a world governed by providence in The Laplace’s Demon (2017).
In the movie, a group of scientists are invited to a mansion on an isolated island to discuss their work. Once inside, they discover that their host intends to hold them captive, forcing them to take part in a strange experiment. Will they react to their situation as predicted?
The movie is a taut psychological thriller, where every outcome is foreseen in advance. It’s a mentally challenging story that’s both thought-provoking and engaging. We’re faced with a budding mystery, that can have only one logical conclusion…
The concept of Laplace’s Demon was first put forward by French scholar, Pierre Simon Laplace. In A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities, Laplace reasons that if someone became aware of every atom in the universe, then a mathematical formula could predict their movements.
This idea is used to create a wonderfully mind-bending story about the predictability of human nature. It’s as methodically paced as the mansion model seen in the film, which relentlessly counts down to the next move of the infinitely confident host.
The movie is in Italian and is presented in black and white. It’s a very atmospheric film, brimming with darkness and shadows. It’s very much in the style of a classic film noir movie. The Laplace’s Demon also brings to mind the works of Alfred Hitchcock.
In fact, a character named Jim Bob can be seen reading a book by Hitchcock in an early scene. Later, he finds a copy of The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which may also be central to the plot. Could fate be avoided by doing the unbelievable?
The film also has an obvious connection to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
The digital effects used to create the mansion and other important settings are fantastic. They help to transport us to a different world. These sort of effects seem to work even better in black and white. An extensive use of green screen also comes into play.
We are presented with a strange mix of technology in this movie. The scientists all use cell phones and computers, but we also see them with instant cameras and VHS tapes. It’s difficult to be sure what era this movie takes place in. In the end, it is simply timeless…
I really think you should see The Laplace’s Demon, but will that be your destiny? In the grand scheme of things, your choice is unavoidable…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…