Revolution #9

"Good"

Revolution #9 Review


Tim McCann's Revolution #9 is a muted freak-out, an exploration of the kind of slipping-down life from which it's impossible avert your gaze.

Michael Risley plays Jackson, a seemingly normal man who out of the blue becomes convinced he is being beseiged by secret messages in e-mail spam and a TV perfume ad. After confronting the nephew of his girlfriend (Adrienne Shelly) as being in on the conspiracy, Jackson's world becomes more and more bizarre, even hunting down the photographer (Spalding Gray, in a small but fun role) who shot the perfume commercial.

Jackson ends up committed, but the damage is done. Treatment does no good; his paranoid conspiracies get progressively worse until the movie comes to an abrupt halt.

McCann, who somehow raised the monies to shoot on 35mm with some reasonably well-known indie talent (save his star), puts the movie together in an MTV quick-cut/blur-pan/rack-focus method that works pretty well at getting across the increasingly iffy mindset of Jackson. His use of title cards (numbers 1 through 9) is gimmicky, but it also works -- though it tends to allude to a level of suspense that never comes through. Risley's performance is solid, and though Shelly looks sleepy throughout the movie, she comes across well enough.

The aforementioned abrupt ending doesn't feel right, sadly. I certainly wasn't expecting Jackson to miraculously improve in health, but you end up wondering just what you were supposed to take away from Revolution #9. People go crazy all the time, this we know. I see them every day.

I had the same issues with States of Control, a strikingly similar indie mixing themes of mental and societal decay. What does it all mean? And how much does that matter if the ride gives you some real heebie-jeebies along the way?

Number nine? Number nine? Number nine?



Revolution #9

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 22nd April 2001

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


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