“You’re such an idiot,” shouts the woman who’s been listening to her husband deny that he has had an affair. “They have you on tape.”
And it isn’t only him. The filmmakers of this CineVegas Grand Jury Award winner have everyone on tape, capturing all the scripted action in Look with surveillance cameras inside bank-branch ATMs, department-store dressing rooms, shopping-mall food courts and high-school hallways. There are even video feeds from a cop car dashboard camera, a television news copter and a bomb-detonating robot thrown in for good measure. Although the ingenious gimmick occasionally strains reality, especially in regards to the high quality of the sound recording and in-camera editing, it nonetheless results in a satisfying satire of the increasingly voyeuristic tendencies of a society equipped with an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras.
The characters in Look are oblivious to this constant taping, however, and writer/director Adam Rifkin’s interconnecting vignettes seem to argue that the true selves they—and, by extension, we—reveal in unguarded moments are largely ignoble. Married men undermine years of commitment for a few furtive minutes of pleasure. Teenage tramps leisurely shoplift inside doublewide handicapped dressing rooms while the wheelchair-bound wait outside. And, most sensationally, a pair of nondescript drifters start a murderous rampage that earns them the media-coined moniker “The Candid Camera Killers.”
Some of this isn’t easy to watch, but it’s all worth a Look.
Distributor: Liberated Artists
Cast: Jamie McShane, Spencer Redford, Hayes MacArthur, Nichelle Hines, Ben Weber, Paul Schackman, Chris Williams, Jennifer Fontaine, Giuseppe Andrews, Miles Dougal, Rhys Coiro and Sebastian Feldman
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Rifkin
Producers: Brad Wyman and Barry Schuler
Genre: Comedy drama
Rating: R for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some violence and brief drug use
Running time: 102 min.
Release date: December 14, 2007 ltd.