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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Coherence

Here's a little gem I discovered after it was named one of the top ten movies of 2014 by one of the film critics from Las Vegas Weekly: Coherence, an indie film written and directed by James Ward Byrkit. It's one of those single-set, limited cast films that are sometimes more intriguing than a film that spends more money on its catering budget.

Coherence is very reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode, and gets heady when it basically acts out the thought experiment of Schrodinger's Cat. Eight friends are at a dinner party. A comet is passing overhead. The lights go out in the neighborhood, except for one other house (this immediately had me thinking of the Twilight Zone classic, "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"). But no, there's more afoot here. It seems that the other house is the same house these people just left, and that they are in it, or rather themselves from a different reality.

As the story moves on, the complexities multiply. One character, a recovering alcoholic, worries that his other self will come over and kill everyone after starting drinking. The mind absolutely boggles when characters realize that they are not with the people they started, even if they look the same and are essentially the same people. Finally, a woman wants to find a reality where everything is nice and good, but has to deal with the fact that there is already one of her there.

This is a really fun movie for eggheads and sci-fans (a large overlap, I know) and would make for good viewing in a physics class. The cast, completely unknown to me, all are terrific, and aside from too liberal a use of a hand-held camera, Byrkit's direction is just right.

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