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Saturday, 17 October 2009

SchizoFredric (2009)

Director: Andy Poyiadgi
Stars: Spencer Jones and Laura Evans

Our hero Fredric is a geek, enough so that his alarm clock wakes him with 'Good morning, Commander!' He eats his cereal out of a cup and cleans up the table with his dressing gown. He reads comics on the toilet. He has a moon rock collection, a 1991 calendar on his wall and a lego phone. He also has, though unfortunately we don't see it, a lifesize cutout of Barbarella in his bedroom. His answerphone tells people that he's in another galaxy on a peace mission. He looks utterly asleep even when he's awake. He writes articles on deep space wormholes but he hasn't finished his book. In fact he hasn't even started his book.

He's a really well defined character and he's a very believable slouch. His life changes because he signs up for something called the Ego Enlightenment Program, an unlikely self improvement package. A couple of guys in clean room bunnysuits from TransDimensional Enterprises turn up and install a wormhole in his bathroom, which naturally he climbs through because he's a geek and what self respecting geek doesn't want to climb through a wormhole? What happens is hardly what he expects though and hardly what we expect either. It takes him out of our widescreen picture so he can hang around above the film watching it unfold with us, as a replacement Fredric attempts to fix his life for him.

This is another wonderful little short that tells its story in a unique way. Science fiction should be about going beyond the envelope and SchizoFredric does that literally, with our lead actor Spencer Jones not only on screen for almost the entire running time but actually on screen twice for at least half of it, as two versions of himself. It's a solid performance too, full of character, and inspiring in its own charming way. Laura Evans is a cute and perky girlfriend but the story and the way the film is made shines brightest.

But no, he wouldn't have done that to the comic.

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