Monday 13 August 2012

Pattern: Response (2009)

Director: Stephen C Krystek
Stars: Noel Allison, Mallory Adams and Jason David Young
This film was an official selection at the Jerome Indie Music & Film Festival in Jerome, AZ in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films.
'You can't do this!' cries a man in chains. 'I'm an American, for Christ's sake!' He's panicked but he has a right to be, it would seem, locked up in the dark with only another man for company, a far more laid back man who examines how he got there, right down to the discovery that his entire life is online, in video footage that is timestamped and searchable. It's a classic Philip K Dick type paranoia story, updated to include terms like 'extraordinary rendition' that Dick would certainly have used in his work had he lived long enough to hear them. It's a great setup because it's simple in the extreme but opens the possibility of untold complexity. Who knows where Stephen Krystek, the director and co-writer, is going to take the story. There are so many possibilities that we can only either get bored and quickly drift away or get hooked into the story and try to outguess the direction. Krystek makes his film lean and mean and we can't help but get hooked.

Noel Allison is excellent as Joseph, the focus of the film, who spends the entirety in a surreal state, progressing from doubt and confusion to full blown paranoia. You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you, but he pays his bills, he pays his taxes and he loves his wife; why would anyone want a regular Joe like him? Towards the end of this ten minute short we find out, sort of. Like all the best Dick stories, it leaves us with more questions, however well it's wrapped up. The credits unfold as blackouts in confidential documents, reversed to reveal instead of conceal and they're great to see. This is excellent, superior to the last couple of Krysteks I've seen. Not Quite Dead, his debut as a writer/director, wasn't essential, though it may still be the most honest zombie movie I've ever seen. Her Special Day, which he edited and produced, didn't impress me first time but is growing on me with each viewing. This one is spot on and there are a few more Krysteks to find.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hal, why have you taken to reveiwing so many obscure films on this site lately ?, i kinda` miss the good old days when you used to reveiw so many well known classics.