Director: Marek Polgar
Screenplay: Martyn Pedler
Cast: Kylie Trounson, Michael Finney, Davis Kemp, Hannah Moore
Producers: Surface Tension Films
Print Source: Surface Tension Films
2011 | 18 min
According to legend, there exists at the heart of the city a door that opens upon a parallel universe. No one knows its origin or where it leads. A better world, assuredly. A place where, compared with this city that offers only disappointment, the living is good. Since time immemorial, men and women have clung to this certainty, abandoning everything to trek around the city, opening every door they come across. Their search seems impossible, as the city has the particular distinction of constantly transforming itself. Each day it mysteriously expands, erecting new buildings potentially holding the mythical door. Maps being useless in such a shifting geography, the labyrinth’s explorers must rely on groundless rumours and seemingly insignificant symbols interpreted as clues. They always seem to hit a brick wall, though. Fatigue and insanity are always looming. Alice, however, doesn’t lose hope. Like her companions, she hasn’t yet produced any satisfactory results, but continues to believe that she’s on the right track. The young lady claims to have created a fail-safe system for locating the door. To gain access, she’ll need the delicate help of a couple torn apart by their imminent breakup and must cooperate with the city’s most powerful man, a unscrupulous millionaire. Any method is good if it can bring her quest to a conclusion and finally put to rest her biggest fear — that the legend of the door is but exactly that, and the city is inescapable.
Initially conceived as a web series, a new medium growing in popularity among artists working in the genre, the ambitious project EXIT has been adapted for the big screen. A wise decision on the creators’ part, the result being one of the best science-fiction films of the year, merging a small budget with big ideas. In spite of the prominence given to the absurd, Australian Marek Polgar has created a coherent universe in which a haunting tale unfolds, starring strong and credible protagonists. In imagining a premise that echoes that of STALKER, the filmmaker, like Tarkovsky, uses the theme of the quest to explore the complex psychology of marginal individuals who question a world they wish to leave. This concern with existentialism doesn’t imply a frigid treatment though, as EXIT is, quite to the contrary, a poignant piece. Alice’s torment slowly becomes our own, the suffocating climate of urban alienation in which she evolves deviously contaminating the spirit. Splendid and cerebral, EXIT opens the door for a distinctive new voice in fantastic cinema.