|Index||3 reviews in total|
Nothing So Strange is based on the fictional assassination of Bill Gates,
and the reactionary pressure group that afterwards demands "the truth". To
be a believable portrayal, it needed to be a realistic fictional event, and
came across as so.
This film created much controversy from the hand wringing classes, much of it presumably coming out of Microsoft itself via its media contacts. However, this misses the point.
This is an analysis of the dynamics of a group environment on the fringe left, in balance to Tim Robbins' political masterpiece Bob Roberts.
The excellent way in that real life meetings and press conferences were hijacked by this "mockumentary" to raise questions about this fictional event showed imaginative film making and, in the case of the Democratic National Conference, possibly even genius.
Definitely one to see, and as something new in film making, more of this needs to be encouraged.
I disagree with the last user's comment that this film was a
disappointment. Given Brian Flemming's recent doc "The God Who Wasn't
There", a theme becomes apparent in his work. He is obsessed with
"belief". Some people believe in Christ and/or God in spite of the fact
that the belief can never be proved, and there is a mountain of
evidence that would disprove much of it.
"Nothing So Strange" is less about the assassination of Bill Gates than it is about the people who believe, for no concrete reason, that there MUST be more to the story than what they are being told. They have no proof, but they believe. They are obsessed with what COULD have happened, and they form a group to find the "truth".
The group and their cause take on an almost religious significance with their members. We follow the key members through the rise and fall of the group. We see them attributing favorable events to themselves, and unfavorable events to other outside influences. Sound familiar? In the end, are they any closer to the truth despite all their struggling? This is a film about religion, and the way people behave in large groups. It doesn't matter if that religion is Christianity, or the unshakable belief that there was a conspiracy surrounding the JFK assassination, or that our government is run by space aliens.
This is a well-done indie, with very good acting. It's a little slow at the end of the second act, but it's certainly not a disappointment.
I've been a fan of Brian Flemming's other work including his segments
on the old IFC show Split Screen, but Nothing So Strange is just plain
irrelevant. I saw it on DVD as part of the Had to Be Made film fest
which included an interview w/ the director.
Bottom line is the film is a take off of the whole cult like conspiracy mania surrounding the JFK assassination. In this case Bill Gates is substituted for JFK, MacArthur Park in LA for Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Guess what? JFK was killed in 1963.... Oliver Stone's JFK, which rekindled the whole thing came out in Dec. 1991. Flemmings film started making it's rounds in 2002, really, who cares? It's pretty well executed and convincing, but quite frankly not all that funny and not all that satirical. I think much of it stems from Flemming's misguided mind set and his total lack of understanding about the JFK conspiracy theories.
In an interview after the film Flemming reveals he got the idea when he was researching the whole JFK thing and noticed the religious like quality of the conspiracy buffs. Then he states, almost as an aside, "I found no evidence supporting the conspiracy." Huhhhh! No matter what your feeling or opinion is, it is clear there is some kind of evidence to suggest more than one person was involved in the plot to kill JFK, hence a conspiracy. Therefore, all the controversy that's surrounded JFK all these years later!!! Hello!!! As a matter of fact, a special committee set up by the U.S. Senate did an exhaustive investigation and concluded in 1978 that indeed there was a conspiracy...I guess this little tidbit must have escaped Mr. Flemming's thorough research on the internet... If there were no evidence to suggest anything but a lone killer, obviously the issue would be dead and buried. Because of Flemming's lack of understanding here, or rather lack of knowledge, his total dismissal of any possibility of conspiracy, it makes the whole film fall flat and lose any satirical edge. You've got to fully digest and comprehend something to lampoon it. I feel the choice of subject was the problem.
In reading about the film I thought it would have more to do w/ Gates and Microsoft and greedy corporations, etc. With all the things going on in the world in the last few years:, Iraq, Enron, 9/11, the corruption of the Bush administration, etc. Let's pick on the crazy conspiracy buffs. Once again totally irrelevant film...
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