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Creative Control

Year: 2016
Production Co: Ghost Robot
Director: Benjamin Dickinson
Writer: Benjamin Dickinson
Cast: Benjamin Dickinson, Nora Zehetner, Alexia Rasmussen, Dan Gill

It's an unspecified time in the very near future and David (co-writer and director Benjamin Dickinson) is an advertising executive given a new assignment to market a new augmented reality product in the form of a pair of glasses.

He's in love with his sweet yoga teacher girlfriend Juliette (Nora Zehetner), but can't stop fantasising about his photographer best friend Wim's (Dan Gill) girl Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen).

As the stresses of work and his relationship start to get on top of him, David retreats further into his fantasy world using the AR glasses, building a convincing avatar of Sophie from all the data running through the cybersphere about her. Wim's serial infidelity makes him feel justified, but he also has no idea Juliette is feeling the distance and starting to fall in with a charismatic yoga teacher who calls himself Govindas.

David's fantasy life starts to overlap more and more on the real world and the fallout affects everyone. It loses its way narratively a little bit the further along it goes, maybe because the theme the movie hopes to wield (how technology throws up walls rather than offering us real connection) ends up a bit too far out front, leaving little else for the story to continue to develop.

But the visuals are stark and well designed, especially depicting the world around the AR user as they see it (ie not POV but with the graphics and data floating in front of them). It's all black and white apart from just a few objects in only a couples of frames, and the look blends Brooklyn hipsterism with the clean-lined tech of tomorrow pretty effectively. The only real mystery is why Dan Gill as David's friend Wim looks like a porn director from the 1970s.

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