The Shock of the Future

French model, singer and actress Alma Jodorowsky shines in this simple yet effectively hip Parisian doodle about the early days of electronic music.

It’s written and directed by Marc Collin, founder of those French pop cover versioners Nouvelle Vague, the ones who did breathy bossa takes on Love Will Tear Us Apart and Teenage Kicks. Here, he’s paying tribute to the forgotten female pioneers of electronica through the character of Ana, who hangs around a mate’s borrowed apartment in her knickers playing with the huge bank of synthesiser equipment and amps he’s left in her charge.

Various hairy blokes visit and flirt with her and she manages to charm them all away, or gets one of them to lend her a new-fangled beat box. After a few joints this eventually inspires her to write some music (for a commercial she’s been commissioned for but is late delivering) and, when a female vocalist pops round, together they write music and lyrics for what sounds like it could be a poppy hit.

There’s a line in this where Ana picks up a new record and screams in excited French: “I’ve heard the future and it’s from Sheffield…” Yes, she’s just heard the Human League for the first time.

There’s a party at her flat, then a visit to a recording studio and a few walks along the canal and, bien sur, lots of smoking, but the film keeps things cool and simple. Jodorowsky is lovely; the music, sounds, flat and equipment are charmingly retro and there’s subtly feminist message breaking through and getting its story told for the first time. Tres chic, tres aimable…