From the writer and director of cult classic Gattaca and the author of The Truman Show comes another less-than-rosy vision of where technology may take society in the years to come.

Rather than a dystopian future per se, Andrew Niccol characterises his latest work Anon more as an exploration of a parallel present, one where every move we make is watched and recorded, but everything we see also can be hacked and manipulated.

Taking the lead in this slick, meticulously-created retro-futuristic world is Clive Owen as Sal Friedland, something of a old school detective-noir figure who is able to search and retrieve files about anyone to solve cases in the blink of an eye, but who must while away the rest of his hours alone in his bachelor apartment puffing cigarettes and reliving painful memories that repeat continually in his mind like a film replay.

His work is interrupted and a seemingly infallible system of policing threatened, by the appearance of hacker The Girl – played by Amanda Seyfried – who is somehow off the grid, achieving the impossible by remaining invisible in an all-seeing world. In searching for the truth, Friedland is increasingly drawn to his suspect, leading him to question their reality and his place within it.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Clive Owen and writer and director Andrew Niccol to discuss the timeliness of the film (hitting screens in the aftermath of one of the biggest scandals in data privacy for Facebook and Cambridge Analytica), the challenge for Owen playing his role when he himself is virtually analogue and what themes link together the different worlds Niccol creates.

By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 10th May 2018.

Anon is released nationwide and on Sky Cinema on 11th May 2018. Read our review here.

Watch the trailer for Anon here: