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SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN

Japan, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Animation Gallery)

Director: Ryutaro Nakamura

A monumental 13-part Japanese anime series, Serial Experiments Lain is a heady brew of X-Files paranoia, The Matrix alternate realities, Strange Days technophilia and existential adventure Lam is a quiet, shy schoolgirl who gets e-mails from the dead. Initially bewildered by any form of technology, her communications with the recently deceased prompt an obsession with new super-computing technology.

Lain plumbs a virtual world conspiracy involving a fascinating series of parallel plots 'The Wired' is a state, a presence in the digital domain, that may soon become physical reality for Lain. If she can avert attacks, intrusions and nightmares, involving beings from The Wired and a secretive organisation of hackers called The Knights, she might just survive to ascend to a completely virtual existence.

Serial Experiments Lain has the power and poetry, the focus and cutting-edge immediacy of a William Gibson story. A beautiful eerie, and powerfully evocative series...mixtures of reality fantasy, hallucination and virtual reality impossible to distinguish from each other in a welter of surreal images, serve to heighten the tension. Increasingly experimental and sophisticated animation make it eye-poppingly captivating"—Sci-Fi Weekly

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