Hollywood-style time travel tales like to focus their attention on cultural fads and fashions: clothes, music, slang, daily technologies. The ingeniously low-budget Irish sci-fi film LOLA has fun with all of that, but also investigates darker, more global questions like: what if Germany had won World War II? Pieced together in dazzling 16mm as an imaginary collage of interlocking audio-visual documents from the 1940s, Andrew Legge, directing his debut feature, conjures the lives of two gifted and lively sisters, Thomasina and Martha. Left to their own devices as children, the pair has managed to create a machine that receives media broadcasts from the future. In their personal, cloistered, punk paradise, they embrace the rebellious styles of an age to come – The Kinks, David Bowie – but also discover, when military personnel move in, that history is a dangerous game to toy with. The ultimate question becomes: if mass media can change the world, can cinema miraculously restore it? Just like the monument to bricolage created by its characters, LOLA is an inspired conceit in the style of Guy Maddin, Woody Allen’s Zelig (1983) and Peter Jackson’s Forgotten Silver (1996). It’s a surreal romp through scratches, glitches and speculative possibilities.