Preemed at Locarno, winner of the Film Critic’s Award at the Hamburg Filmfest, Alex Stockman’s gripping Pulsar, the Belgian filmmaker’s sophomore feature taps into the terrifying phobia of technology with this thriller. This is about Samuel (Matthias Schoenaerts), who works in Brussels as a pharmaceutical delivery man, while his girlfriend has found a prestigious job in New York. The internet is the only way they can keep their long distance relationship going — this provides for a little sanity and security but doesn’t do much for the loneliness and dissatisfaction in his life. When Samuel’s internet connection is hacked, it derails this fragile equilibrium and he ends up fighting the invisible enemy who’s bound to steal his identity and destroy his already strained relationship. Stockman reevaluates the role of online technology in ours daily lives as it both falsely unites and disconnects people from true interactions. I got to speak to Alex during the AFI Fest, where Pulsar was among those selected in the New Auteurs category.