There are few movies that can successfully set a mood that’s simultaneously dark and uncomfortable yet so hilarious; Bengjamin Dickenson’s Creative Control secreted that atmosphere with its own brand of vigor.
The film followed the development of a grotesque love pentagon between the protagonist David (Benjamin Dickenson), his wife Juliette (Nora Zehetner), Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen), his best friend Wim (Dan Gill) and the “servant of love” Govindas (Paul Manza).
Diving into the film, I made it a point to not see any information about it (I feel that context can sometimes skew my predisposition towards a film). And as I was sitting in my seat, watching the opening sequence, I was blown back by the stylistic representation of a black and white scene in which the protagonist arrives at his office at a Brooklyn advertising agency as a tech executive. He and a group of colleagues pitch an advertising campaign to a perspective client – the founder of a tech company that produces the new wave gadgets of the future, “Augmenta”. Augmenta’s new product is a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses. David is tasked with exploring these glasses inside and out, and really unlocking whatever potential he finds within them. And as he dives deeper and deeper into what these glasses do, he also develops unhealthy feelings for his best friend’s love interest, Sophie, which sets in motion a blur of primal fantasies, sex, and bourgeois problems.
As the film develops, David’s feelings become more of an obsession, and with the added filter of the glasses, David starts to loose grip on reality and starts to fall down a slippery rabbit hole of borderline insanity. The plot of the film is extremely hard to describe because, although it may have some semblance of a few traditional story telling elements, it crafts a few of its own. It also doesn’t help when the protagonist incrementally looses his grip on his surroundings and relationships.
Also, Reggie Watts is in the film too, or whatever. So that’s cool.
The strangest part of the whole film was that even though the plot was almost etherial in nature, at no point did I feel lost or unsure of what was going on. Benjamin Dickenson’s mastery in his craft kept my mind on the rails of this strange and dangerous mine cart ride, and although I didn’t always feel safe, my trust in him paid off in full. I cannot accurately describe what my experience was in any string of english words, but I do know that it was not a alien experience. Instead of summing it up as a reaction to a film, I figure that’s the best way to describe what happened – an experience.
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