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Yesterday Was a Lie (2008)

PG  |   |  Drama, Music, Mystery  |  17 January 2008 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 368 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 25 critic

Hoyle, a girl with a sharp mind and a weakness for bourbon, finds herself on the trail of a reclusive genius. But her work takes a series of unforeseen twists as events around her grow ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hoyle
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Singer
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Trench Coat Man
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Psychiatrist
Megan Henning ...
Student
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Nurse
Robert Siegel ...
Radio Interviewer (voice)
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Dead Man
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TV Shrink
Frank Payne ...
Coroner
John Ronald Dennis ...
Clerk
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Art Patron
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Art Patron
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Storyline

Hoyle, a girl with a sharp mind and a weakness for bourbon, finds herself on the trail of a reclusive genius. But her work takes a series of unforeseen twists as events around her grow increasingly fragmented... disconnected... surreal. With an ethereal lounge singer and her loyal partner as her only allies, Hoyle is plunged into a dark world of intrigue and earth-shattering cosmological secrets. Haunted by an ever-present shadow whom she is destined to face, Hoyle discovers that the most powerful force in the universe -- the power to bend reality, the power to know the truth -- lies within the depths of the human heart. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most powerful force in the universe lies within the depths of the human heart.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, some violent content and smoking

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Release Date:

17 January 2008 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by The Making of 'Yesterday Was a Lie': Dudas (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Do You Start?
Performed by Chase Masterson
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User Reviews

Fenestra Aeternitatus
26 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A love story for cerebral cineastes. A delight to watch after dinner with a philosophy professor friend and three glasses of wine, and it belongs right up there with your volumes of Wittgenstein. Upon more sober viewing, my analytic mind felt challenged. Actually, this reflects the film's purposeful plotting. Being a psychiatrist, let's see what I can offer.

The film exemplifies Godard's maxim that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. In this case the lead female characters are two lovely blondes. Each so cleverly resembles the other that one is reminded of Discreet Object of Desire, the surrealist flick where two actresses played one character.

But adding layers of complexity here, these twin-like actresses are also playing the left and right sides of the brain of the feminine anima of one male character. Got that? They all meet at the Pigeon Hole lounge. The first character is the young Hoyle, a feminine Bogart/Sam Spade analytic detective - the left brain. Like Sam she likes the gin and the story straight. The second is a sultry, un-named singer who has a familiarity with the poetics of T.S. Eliot - the brain's right. Her music is entrancing, her wit intuitive and nonlinear. Together, these two provide the counterpoint of Jung's anima to the male animus of the main character, Dudas.

Whether Hoyle and her counterpart, Singer, convince us they are our anima is irrelevant as we so want them to be part of us. These lovelies draw us ever so seductively into imagining the dark recesses of our own beautiful unconscious, despite whatever misgivings. All we're here for is love, we are told. The shape of the universe is a relationship - functional or otherwise - whether with our inner parts or with our fellow beings. This makes for a strange little Jungian romp in luscious b&w footage. This is Lynch with an underlying premise. Somewhat like the film Pi, this low budget beauty was made at the cost of Pi (made at $60,000) times pi!

First time director James Kerwin makes for a Jungian fortune teller taking us on a trip to disentangle or re-entangle our male and female halves. Kerwin is an urban shaman who shows us the conventional mind as a "surge suppressor". Our conscious minds filter small broken bits of time in a lame attempt to tell a story. Does it matter whether they "add up"?

Beginning with some obvious allegory, the locks are broken off the allegorical unconscious and our character, curiously named Hoyle bravely walks into a poetic film noir journey to confront the Self. (Hoyle seems named after transcendental astronomer/physicist Fred Hoyle who was deeply intrigued by the "Anthropic Principle" of nature.) We begin with a look at Dali's surrealist masterpiece Persistence of Memory in a hallway. They meet Schrödinger's cat, the parable of which tells us there are opposite angles on everything and only by choosing do we arrives at any definitive perspective. Free Will is discussed. The film reveals a Jungian Fenestra Aeternitatus, a window to the eternal, that our characters need to navigate.

A variety of other cutting edge consciousness theories are peppered throughout the film to spice the intellectual interest of the knowledgeable viewer, including pondering Planck's constant, a number describing the fundamental vibration at the Ground of Being. For those less informed, the film literally goes back to the psychiatrist to explain itself. Jung, we are told, said a man needs to project his animus onto the feminine anima in order to unlock the secrets of the universe. This is a film for men who are in need of seeing themselves and for women who want a deeper look into those men. What does a man see in himself as a woman?

Hoyle goes into a dream within a dream (hasn't everyone had at least one of these?) to contact her animus, Dudas, who has a notebook of important thoughts or ideas. Meanwhile we are constantly asked, what if our theories, concepts of self, and common sense don't add up? And what does that tell us about our relationships? And what is the nature and consequence of the loss of "relationship"? The right-sided feminine asks the questions. Left-sided Hoyle tries to read the tea leaves, the pattern in the chaos. Hoyle and her doppelganger meet another aspect of their animus, a scientist who explains the nature of time and who feels these two sexy blondes are "better" and "better". They are also the choices that interface with reality. They will help us overcome our own guilt about our very existence and the broken promises to ourselves and to others.

A deep understanding of time is seen in this film's Feynman diagram writ large in cinema. Physicist Feynman showed everything else might be one mind/particle bouncing backwards and forwards in time, appearing as each and all of us trying to make contact with every part of experience over eternity, the very fabric of time. This reach for the eternal is countered by the Shadow, the dark side, who delivers a bit of lead poisoning in the form of bullets. Death's shadow is a terrifying/exhilarating lockdown on the many-sided reality of now, it haunts our Selves. It occurs when we bring our stories to a halt. We need to let go of our life-text and grab onto our fuller selves, leaving our memories to be what they are and move on to script ourselves anew.

This film is an ultimate romance with "The Other", a mix of the cosmos and the chaos, the order and the disorder, the male and the female. In this cocktail lounge of our emotions, letting go of our primordial selfishness lets our unconscious sing its own songs, reconciling the Self to itself. And pay attention to terrific music in here. Chase Masterson sings beautifully the lounge songs of our longing.


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