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I gotta look good for the apocalypse


March 2020. The planet locks itself in. Our world is being drained of its substance and digital life forms are multiplying, like these couples who meet in a virtual universe. What if the crisis was not the pandemic, but the derealisation of our lives?

Empty escalators rise and fall, traffic lights change their colours for no one, a plastic bag floats across a forgotten football pitch. Public spaces emptied out in 2020 as the world shut itself away to avert a global pandemic. But, while people kept their physical bodies away from each other, the internet provided new means to connect in disembodied virtual arenas.

Welding reconstructed, animated paint strokes, Ayce Kartal presents our recent apocalyptic history, slicing into now-familiar pandemic scenes with vivid, absurdist clips from VR games. The result is a sensory overload of lonely hearts, fragmented attention spans and Zoom sing-alongs. And while I gotta look good for the apocalypse confidently asserts that its subject is the COVID-19 crisis, Kartal’s film also gestures to a future we’re already living in; a future in which we inhabit more fulfilled, more “real” lives through pixels. Welcome to the new normal, we’ve been here for quite some time now.

Katie Goh 

Director's filmography: Suspiria (2018), Wicked Girl (2017), Birdy Wouaf Wouaf (2015), Tornistan: Bir Ayçe Kartal filmi (2013).


  • Director Ayce Kartal
  • Country France
  • Year 2021
  • Duration 4 min
  • Scottish Premiere


The End (N/C 15+)

Bill Douglas Award 5: Crackdown Aesthetics (N/C 15+)

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