Five Thoughts: Coherence

COH_Still3 copy

* * *

Dir. James Ward Bykit, 2013

  1. Like Primer or The Man From Earth, this is a low-budget Indie sci-fi film made with little to no money that relies on a ambitiously inventive plot with much success.
  2. …And Primer is an easy comparison because both are puzzle films, which is to say both are quite confusing. Then again, is this really a Puzzle film? Those can too often suggest that the director/screenwriter just are showing off (The Prestige felt like the nadir of this to me). While the film’s complicated plot and purposely abrupt edits suggest a puzzley-nature, I’m not sure it is a puzzle film because  I don’t think that this movie wants or needs to be figured out, plot-wise, to work. The title, which refers to a concept in physics, is also ironically used for the incoherent nature of the bulk of the action in the film.
  3. …And the coherence/incoherence is about our understanding of self and relationships. This is what this film does so well. The generous, improv style allows for some really good performances, but also for these characters to become rather endearing. Often in genre films, and puzzle films, characters are unimportant; cogs in a machine-like process. Here we’re able to get to know them well enough to care about them.
  4. This movie does something really interesting with Nicholas Brendan’s character’s backstory (or is he a character?) that goes beyond meta-reference to more of a type of dissonant misinformation, or suggestion of difference, that acts as a precursor to what unfolds in the rest of the film. I realize that last thought probably won’t make any sense in my non-spoilered review…
  5. I haven’t decided if I wanted to explain what kind of movie this is to you. Basically a group of friends sit down for a dinner, which in movies is a dangerous prospect, especially with a comet flying overhead. But if you want to know what it’s about I’ll just provide a link that will explain it for you. It’s basically a dramatic version of this.




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