Two shows on Thursday, starting with the shorts Neo-noir is the New Black (get it? It's a French/English pun.)
BAD HABITS: A librarian discovers a knife, and a book about killing bad habits. It gets a little too literal.
HEART ROCK AND DOLLARS: Love, betrayal, gangsters, and poison in gloomy Lebanon.
HOLE: A woman moves into a new apartment, and finds a hole in the wall where she can spy on her neighbor. That might not be a great idea.
THE SHADOW HOURS: Twin private eyes, with an odd condition. Only one of them can be awake at a time. So one takes the day shift, one takes the night shift. But when one falls in love and she wants a relationship that can last 24 hours a day, things get pretty tense.
SWING SHIFT: A film that would've been equally at home in the Lovecraft shorts program. A noir-ish dame is the night guardian against creatures from beyond. Very funny mix of genres.
THE WHISKEY TALKING: The highlight of the program. A recovering alcoholic is poisoned, and there's no antidote. But he can counteract the poison by being drunk. So a wasted man and his nearly-as-drunk sidekick go on an adventure to find his murderer. What kind of man is he? 100 proof.
THE WRITER: From Italy, a beautiful, stylish thriller of cursed writer.
And then for a bit of sci-fi with VIRTUAL REVOLUTION. It's 2047, and in this dystopian future most of the people spend almost all their time online. Can you imagine that? There's a small population of unconnected, and also a handful of hybrids--people who can actually log off once in a while and interact in the real world for just a bit before heading back into the virtual world. One of those hybrids is the hero, a private bounty hunter working for the virtual gaming corporations. Seems there's some terrorists--necromancers who are killing connected via a virus that fries their brain through the headset. The fake excitement of the virtual world is beautifully contrasted with the brutal punishment of the real world, and it's provocative how the movie delves into the blurring of the worlds. In an unsurprising twist, the terrorists are really (maybe?) a team of freedom fighters--but giving people freedom by forcing them out of what they've already chosen they want. What I found most intriguing is how it isn't black and white about virtual reality being bad and real reality being the right way to go. I don't know how old director Guy-Roger Duvert is, but I'm going to guess he would count as a "millennial." And I would consider this the first millennial sci-fi dystopian film about virtual reality, and how in choosing between real and virtual, virtual is a completely legitimate choice. After all, if experience is all just chemical reactions in our brains, who cares what triggers them?
Total Running Time: 179 minutes
My Total Minutes: 435,596