The fifth film on our list, “After Yang,” was directed by video essayist and filmmaker Kogonada, who also recently directed several episodes of the Apple TV+ series “Pachinko.”
With an impressive cast that includes Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min and Haley Lu Richardson, “After Yang” follows a family whose cyborg child, Yang (Min), has begun to fall apart. This crisis prompts the father (Farrell) to investigate whether Yang can be saved instead of replaced so as not to upset their adopted daughter, who has become incredibly close to the cyborg. We’ll let you find out where his investigation ultimately leads him, but the film uses its sci-fi trappings to explore ideas of identity, belonging, and love to create a visually stunning whole.
As “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” shows, it’s true that you don’t need a big budget, fancy special effects, or a star-studded cast to make an effective sci-fi movie. Some of the most thought-provoking and creative sci-fi movies are so good because they do a lot with little. That said, having the means to bring a story to life in a way that makes the most of the medium of filmmaking is how we get great experiences like “After Yang.”