CREATIVE CONTROL

— by Jeff Schultz

[Special dispatch from the 27th annual Tromsø International Film Festival]

> When you write, direct and star in a movie, its vision belongs to you for better or worse. Benjamin Dickinson’s morose tale of adultery and dissolving relationships, is a familiar one, goosed up by movies’ newest gimmick: augmented reality. Dickinson plays an ad agency executive named David, who is under pressure to deliver a winning campaign for Google Glass/Snap Spectacles-inspired eyeglasses, a pair of which is provided to him for brainstorming. He uses the glasses to create an avatar in the image of a woman he is intermittently screwing for real — whose own lover is David’s best friend — and in the process lines blur, many drugs are ingested, and a lot of sex is had
> CREATIVE CONTROL satirizes (yet again) our obsession with all things digital and the inhuman vice in which Silicon Valley companies place their employees to succeed. These are not fresh messages. Nor are the romantic entanglements of much interest because the characters are dull. And while the film is only slightly past an hour-and-a-half, it seems much longer. At the same time, the ending, with a twist that will surprise no one, is rushed and rings false. The only cast member who brings in a little life is the only one you’ve likely heard of: the always entertaining Reggie Watts (of tv’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and a thousand other projects), playing himself. When he (literally) goes out of the picture by way of a very funny video phone message, all hope is lost.

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