Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Creative Control: VR Finally Comes to Brooklyn
is home to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scott Baio, and Deborah “Debbie” Gibson.
The borough just isn’t as cool as it thinks it is. That is probably not going
to change in the near future. However, the technology of the supposedly edgy
new Google Glass competitor a boutique Brooklyn ad agency starts handling is imperceptibly
different from that of six months ago. Prepare for some whiny hipsters and
naked VR constructs in Benjamin Dickinson’s Creative
opens today in New York.
David’s echo chamber world, even working at an ultra-hip agency like Homunculus
constitutes selling out. He hates himself for actually working an office job,
but his fragile ego craves recognition. It seems his moment has arrived when he
is given creative control of the Augmenta campaign. His first decision to recruit
musician-comedian Reggie Watts as their spokesman goes over like gangbusters,
because apparently broad based market penetration is not the client’s goal.
contrast to his career upswing, David’s personal life is in shambles. He barely
talks to his self-absorbed ragingly neurotic (even by Park Slope standards)
live-in girl-friend Juliette, who occasionally works as a yoga instructor and
blames all her failures on him because she might as well. David carries a torch
for Sophie, the clueless girlfriend of his cheating dog fashion photographer
best bud, but she politely discourages his guarded overtures. As a plan B,
David programs a virtual Sophie in his Not-Google Glass, with whom he regularly
has hot, sweaty assignations with at a W Hotel. In fact, David sees so much of
his programmed Sophie, he starts to have trouble distinguishing her from the
ten years ago, the idea of a man becoming emotionally involved with his virtual
reality sex partner would have been edgy, but it is pretty old hat in a world
where Joaquin Phoenix had a relatively healthy romance with his operating
system. Seriously, is anyone flabbergasted by the idea of anti-social tool using
technology for sexual purposes?
there is no reason Creative couldn’t
work to some extent if it were executed with wit and style. In fact, it has
plenty of the latter, thanks to Adam Newport-Berra’s distinctive
black-and-white cinematography. However, the only jokes that land come in a
recurring gag regarding the campaign for a prescription anti-anxiety drug, but
those bits would not be out of place in an episode of Bosom Buddies. For the most part, its alleged satire of hipster
Brooklyn is toothless and its future speculation is behind the times.
by casting himself in the lead role, Dickinson becomes his own worst enemy.
Whatever the opposite of screen presence might be, he seems to have a lot of it.
Nor does it help when Paul Manza, the hippy yoga instructor in Dickinson’s
profoundly irritating First Winter turns
up as a hippy yoga instructor once again.
the admittedly lovely black-and-white look and classical music soundtrack,
Dickinson is clearly striving for a Kings County analog of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Unfortunately, he falls far
short, even though swapping out the creepy underage relationship for autoerotic
VR is definitely a wise trade. Honestly, this film would have been superfluous
five years ago. Now it is just self-indulgent and tiresome. Not recommended, Creative Control opens today (3/11) in
New York, at the Landmark Sunshine.
Labels: Brooklyn Films