We have seen on-screen depictions of the Serbo-American genius and inventor Nikola Tesla many times—he was even once played by none other than David Bowie. It seems, however, that only Almereyda has managed to capture the true heft and pop-culture elegance of the genius behind the majority of inventions in mass use today, from the simplest TV remote control, through complex engines, to modern computers and smartphones. However, this Tesla is not at all as serious or focused as befits a man of science, but rather just the opposite. In Almereyda’s film, lofty elements are mixed with humorous ones, and the director himself proves that, just like his protagonist, he is a true visionary—he eschews advanced special effects, often relies on conventions, and takes advantage of an enormous amount of creative energy. Together with the cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell,the Safdie brothers’ Good Time—both shown at the American Film Festival), he has made a visual masterpiece that you can expect absolutely anything from. Tesla would be proud!
Sundance FF 2020 - Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Michael Almereyda is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. He began his career by sharing a screenplay for a film about Nikola Tesla with an agent in Hollywood. He then also worked as a script doctor, including on early drafts of Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall and Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World. His Experimenter was shown at the sixth American Film Festival. Almereyda often works with the same actors, such as Ethan Hawk, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bill Murray.
1998 Trans / Trance
2015 Eksperymentator / Experimenter