Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cold Souls With Paul Giamatti

This summer has had some fine science fiction films. When people think "Science Fiction" outer space comes to mind, like "Star Track" or "Moon." These space movies are fun and most of the time full of special effects. Then there is the other kind of science fiction, the thinking man's sci-fi. Films set on earth and with little camera tricks instead of computer animation or explosions. Some down play the science part like "Benjamin Button." Some tell delightful little stories that make people raise their eyebrows. “Synecdoche, New York," “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Being John Malkovich,’’ come to mind. Cold souls is one of these existential Sci-fi movies, even down to the mention of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Paul Giamatti plays himself, an actor racked with anxiety over not only a role, but life in general. Of all places he finds what he thinks is his salvation in the New Yorker. Seems you can store you soul and get loose from all the over powering emotions. Will this be his answer? At the same time that we see Paul's problems in New York there is a deeper story. Like every commodity there is a black market, a Russian company muling souls in to the us bought off poor workers or down in out artist. Director Sophie Barthes’s debut feature, she makes this souls -in here and out there- experience very abstract and fuzzy. Well done as a thought provoking film, and funny at times. (Jersey...Who would let them ship their soul to Jersey?) That this was set up by the Sundance Lab, a workshop for promising filmmakers and playwrights is cool. Keep a eye out for more from this collective of artist.

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