Movie Pick of the Week


 

For the Plasma

Director: Bingham Bryant, Kyle Molzan

Year of Release: 2016

Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes


For the Plasma is a bizarre lo-fi indie which will either appeal to a tiny segment of the population or absolutely no one. It's just that kind of movie; disregarding plot, character motivations, logic, and anything that would constitute a successful film. And yet, perhaps because of this or maybe in spite of it, directors Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan's truly singular picture develops a strange atmosphere that's both hypnotizing and off-putting.

Shot on 16mm in 4:3 aspect-ratio, For The Plasma plays like a laconic VHS archive of hipster dislocation which just so happens to have sci-fi elements, following a young assistant Charlie (Anabelle LeMieux) working for her longtime friend Helen (Rosalie Lowe), who monitors trees through CCTV cameras for possible wildfires. Things take a weird turn once Helen informs Charlie that by staring at the screens for hours, she's been able to detect spatial differences, which in turn have aided her in tracking stock market fluctuations. Things get even weirder from here, but the filmmakers track everything in a detached manner, allowing their actors to give stilted line deliveries with purposefully shitty ADR while wandering about the Maine countryside in search of...well, who knows. Aided immensely by Japanese composer Keiichi Suzuki's blissful synth-laden score and a late appearance by a kooky lighthouse watchman (Tom Lloyd, in a non-actor turn reminiscent of something from a Tim & Eric sketch) For the Plasma is a true original, audiences be damned.