"Rough around the edges, but an agreeably artistic love story"
[SCREENED AT THE 2005 SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL] Concentrating on the alienation of two Gotham dwellers, Four-Eyed Monsters is a sweet story about the connections we wish we could makeóif we werenít so afraid of the consequences.Arin (Crumley) is a lonely filmmaker who pays the rent as a videographer and producer for hire. As we learn in several documentary-style interviews, his previous sexual experiences left much in the wanting. Arin is alternately disgusted with all the declarations of love surrounding him and envious of the closeness. Although contemptuous of couples in loveócalling them four-eyed monsters, he decides to try an online dating service out of desperation. When he eventually meets Susan (Buice,) an artist who gets by as a waitress, Arin is afraid of their relationship going sour, and invents a unique method for their liaisons. They will only communicate by writing to each other: passing notes, using a notepad, even little drawings, but they wonít utter a word. Naturally, despite his attempts to forge an entirely new kind of relationship, Arin must face the evolvement of Susanís feelings and traditional intimacy issues.
It took me a little while to decide whether this movie was a documentary, a narrative love story, or an artistic piece, but I guess itís just a combination of all three. Although the devices used by co-directors Crumley and Buice are a little on the artistic side, I understand what they were trying to do, and for the most part, they succeed.
I enjoyed the spare production (even the more heavy-handed symbolic scene choices were not incongruous.) The loneliness of living in a big city, haunted by failed relationships and nosy roommates, convinced youíre headed for an isolated life with only brief interludes of companionship; Four-Eyed Monsters portrays those fears with simplicity and sympathy.
Four-Eyed Monsters is the type of film that youíd only see at a film festival. Itís obvious that Crumley and Buice have talent and interesting voices. Iím not sure if that voice will translate into a commercial viability, yet. Iíll look forward to a new project from the team.In the meantime, see Four-Eyed Monsters at your local festival and enjoy this quiet love story about the perils of intertwining hearts.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Slamdance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.