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The World Outside (2005)

 -  Short | Drama | Romance  -  October 2005 (USA)
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A young lever-pulling factory worker finds reason to escape the tedious daily routine of industrial manual labor after meeting a bright-eyed young lady who works at the factory across the ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Collins ...
Our Guy
Martha Allen ...
The Girl
Lew Tate ...
Bonnie Carter ...
Narrator's Wife
Molly Evans ...
Bang-O Typist
Jackie Pennetta ...
Bang-O Typist
Courtney Reagor ...
Bang-O Typist
Johanna Hickey ...
Bang-O Typist
Abbe Ertel Magid ...
Swang-O Typist (as Abbe Magid)
Lauren Hemard ...
Swang-O Typist
Artemis Millan ...
Swang-O Typist
Matt Charpentier ...
Bang-O Megaphone Man / Swang-O Factory Worker
Jamie Reynolds ...
Bang-O Megaphone Man / Bang-O Factory Worker
Haynes Riley ...
Swang-O Megaphone Man / Swang-O Factory Worker
Ram Bhat ...
Bang-O Guard / Swang-O Factory Worker


A young lever-pulling factory worker finds reason to escape the tedious daily routine of industrial manual labor after meeting a bright-eyed young lady who works at the factory across the street. After deciding to make his move, he is faced with the task of tremendous complexity as he tries to disguise his identity, fool both factories, and avoid the watchful eyes of the building officials to get closer to the one girl he could love. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Drama | Romance





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October 2005 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

A Whimsical Social Satire
26 November 2005 | by (United States, Montana) – See all my reviews

Co-directed by Josh Lind and Kevin Phillips, The World Outside recently played on the big screen at the Hatch Audiovisual Arts Festival in Bozeman, Montana.

The film tells the story of two rival toy manufacturing plants built high atop a hill, who over the course of time have become bitter enemies due to the similarity of their products. The blue factory builds a fascinating toy called a Bango, which is a ball attached to a stick. The red factory presents a toy called a Swango, which is a ball attached to a string. Each factory remains embittered towards one another, until some unnamed person comes along and draws a line between each building which neither side may cross. All the factory workers are quite pleased with the situation, and the only animosity that surfaces between the toy companies is during break times when the plant workers stand on their side of the line and shout derisive comments at one another over whose product is more fun to play with. The story starts years later when a Bango drone needs a breath of fresh air and single-handedly destroys the factory by opening a window and allowing a crow to fly straight into the machinery. Undone by his mistake, he doesn't participate in the daily ritual of break time name calling. Standing on the sidelines and fondling the mangled bird, he notices a beautiful daydreaming stenographer from the Swango factory. They are keenly fascinated by one another, and when the workers return to work, he takes a huge risk under the watchful eyes of the Swango and Bango guards and crosses the line to go and find her.

After also destroying the Swango factory with the same bird, he finds the beautiful girl who disguises him in a red costume and fake moustache so he can stay and work in the Swango factory. But at break time he accidentally returns to the Bango side of the line, each side recognizes him as theirs, one because of the worker, the other because of the outfit, and a riot between the workers ensues. Each company believes that their own men would never cross the line, and the hero is rejected by both sides. In the end the girl and the boy find happiness together in the world outside that of the embittered factories, which assumedly crumble and fall in the later due to the accidental interference of the crow.

The film is an obvious mix of Dr. Suess, Super Mario, Brazil, and many early silent films where the costumes and the broad acting are integral to the story. While there is dialogue, none of it is pertinent, and the entire story of the boy and girl is told silently… or rather with very loud sound effects. What is most interesting about the film, though, is the promise of the filmmakers. They have lofty goals, many of which come up short in The World Outside. The movie has a frenetic pace, with outrageous machinery, but the claustrophobic feel that is needed is lost when the cinematographer chooses wide angles to reveal the size of factory, instead of close shots to establish the closed in feelings of the workers. Similarly, the dividing line between the factories is only shown briefly in the establishing shots, but is of such importance that it should have as much screen time as the main characters. There are entire scenes devoted to characters not crossing the line, but when the line is never seen, its power is lost. The actors who play the worker drones are having great fun during the course of the film, but only one woman who plays a nosy Swango typist seems to grasp that they must teeter precariously between being amusing and being violently threatening. With constant reminders from the executives of the Toy companies that "Slow and Steady gets you fired" and "This is not the correct time to panic. The correct time to panic is never", it's hard to believe that the worker drones would be having any fun at all, or that they would even consider their ridiculous break-time insults anything other than serious.

But for first time filmmakers to even tackle the complexities of elaborate production design, inanimate main characters, and getting a huge cast to understand the subtlety of drawing out serious emotion from behind broad comedy, it's really very inspiring. Instead of the tired short films about depressing people involved in depressing situations involving guns, drugs, money and artists trying to "find" themselves, we get a film about breaking free of the confines of society to find love and to fine oneself in a world of sameness. The World Outside works as a metaphor for the way a high-schooler feels when he is reprimanded for being different or liking an un-popular girl and breaks free by simply not caring what others think, or the way an adult feels trapped by the sameness of his daily work or daily world events and finds a welcome escape in his family or friends. It's not the moral that being different is good for the sake of being different, but more that being different is inevitable, and you can't force square peg through a round hole. The film also tells us that you'll never obtain anything of value if you're too afraid to take risks.

Mr. Lind and Mr. Phillips show great promise, and I eagerly await their next work.

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