Feb 9, 2018

Exit (David King, 2016)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
Is it a dream or a nightmare, (virtual) reality or a (vivid) hallucination? Or is it an error (+6606) in some cosmic/divine system? Jumbled thoughts of a dying man or prenatal memories of a deranged (artificial) deity?

The puzzling (anti)narrative of David King's existentialist sci-fi mystery Exit won't give you any clear answers, but it will continuously make you question almost everything you've ever seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted. Appearing as if it were adopted from a non-adaptable literary source, the story is structured around an immortal, Y (portrayed by King himself), who lives in paradise, as the official synopsis informs us, or is forced to believe that his world is paradise. But, once the voice of his presumably dead wife, U (Andrea Parke), reaches him, this simulacrum he has been trapped in starts to dissolve.

"If you want to know the truth, you have to die." - tells U to Y at one point, suggesting that Y's agent (and psychotherapist?) R (Ed Mylan) and everybody else have been feeding him with lies. As their names ask you "Why are you?", your senses are assaulted by incessant stream-of-consciousness images which might only reside inside Y's head (does that renders them less real?). Riot footage, media reports, neural synapses, mathematical formulas, a girl with a Sheryl Lee-like smile and the flock of jellyfish superimposed over the sky, inter alia, are juxtaposed with our troubled protagonist's seemingly mundane everyday which involves interviews with R and a lot of computer work - programming his own paradise, perhaps?

Pressing "Esc" button on a keyboard does not bring him peace of mind, something else does and whatever it is, it has to be revelatory to the point of putting him into a sort of catatonic state... King's or rather Y's Exit could be described as cyberpunk meets philosophical and highly experimental cinema of lo-fi, yet pleasing aesthetics, with the creative montage, diverse filters, rear projections, textual intrusions, animated vignettes and whatnots providing a unique viewing experience.

(This review is based on the YouTube screener provided by the author.)

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