by José Sarmiento Hinojosa
“Trippy”, “beautiful” “gorgeously photographed”, shouldn’t be the standards with which we judge a film. And there seems to be a stream of independent american films lately that are setting all their efforts in creating a pseudo spirituality, kind of a “low brow metaphysics” inside their films, permeating the screen with hallucinating visual effects, tripped out characters, strange connections, mystical overtones, weird occurrences, etc. Shane Carruth’s Upstream Colour (2013) was one of the first films of this wave, and almost immediately divided critics, with opinions raging from “ultimate masterpiece” to “utter waste of time”.
Sadly, one spectrum of the talk about these films might be right. There’s little more than the “trippy mystical side” in these films to regard them as something valuable to watch, and this is the case of M. Blash’s The Wait. Starring Chloë Sevigny as a young woman who waits for the resurrection of her mother after a telephone call, this film almost instantly drops into a surreal setting in which the inhabitants of cabins inside the wood are subjected to different strange experiences. And it’s not the absurd way in which the story develops that finally sets its fate, it’s that we’re seemingly being treated to a true transcendent cinematic experience where everything seems to have a deep meaning, while what is really happening is a plain, unimaginative game of manipulation.
Like some kind of new-age literature, these new films like Upstream Colour and The Wait seem to be the new fad around the indie market in the United States, and like new-age literature, one should be wise to avoid them, or set them aside for good.
Director: M. Blash
Producers: Ryan Crisman, Neil Kopp, David Guy Levy, Riel Roch Decter
Cinematography: Kasper Tuxen
Cast: Jena Malone, Chlöe Sevigny, Luke Grimes