Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Look: Robert Altman - Security Guard

Look - Imagine you are sitting through a classic Robert Altman film. You cut between seemingly unrelated characters and stories, each developing on their own, then gradually intersecting. Make the stories and characters a little bit simplistic, nothing unbearable, still somewhat Altmanlike, but with a slightly heavy hand. Now add a new perspective, everything you see is shot by security cameras - the predatory Lolita, the department store Lothario, the sympathetic teacher fending off Lolita, the criminal lawyer (with secrets of his own), the stalking pedophile, the quickie mart clerk with friends and the bad guys on a crime spree - all caught on security videos.

The security camera perspective sounds like a gimmick, but it works on two levels. First, it adds credibility to characters that would otherwise seem too broadly drawn, individual plot lines that would feel too predictable, plot intersections that would be just a little too coincidental. Second, the security cameras themselves are food for thought. They preserve enough data to satisfy even the most voracious voyeur, but they don't often save the victims or punish the truly malicious.

Look's writer/director Adam Rifkin grabs your attention, holds it with simple, sexy stories that crash together and leaves you wondering about those security cameras on your way home. Cast and crew all deserve credit but there is too much movie and too little time. Lolita (actually Sherri) was well played by Spencer Radford (pictured) in one of the film's largest roles. Rather than attempting to name all names I will note that I saw this film late at night as the second half of a double feature, after missing supper and while knowing I was missing a Steeler game on Monday Night Football - and I still enjoyed it.

1 comment:

mhass30 said...

The movie Red Road also has large portions set from security cameras. It came out in 2006 and is very boring.

I watched the Steelers game. The best part was a sideline repoter interviewing Mel Blount when the game was pretty much over and him saying, "This is really boring, The Ravens aren't very competitive"