An Awful Break
The New Frontier movies aren’t supposed to be your conventional films; they even claim to be “the next.” I don’t think I could disagree more, or else I am frightened for the future of film making and watching. I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new, take in the whole Sundance experience. I have enjoyed the New Frontier art installations, so I decided to see a screening of Lunch Break.
The introduction, given by a programmer, spoke about taking your idea of what a film is and forgetting it. I proved that I am not able to do this; I guess I don’t have an open mind. This “film” was eighty minutes of one shot. A long hallway at a factory passing people eat their lunch in slow motion. I can say one positive thing: the slow motion of these workers movements looked beautiful. However, ten minutes of this would have made a lot more sense. I am sure that there is something I am missing, some artistic feature that I wasn’t able to connect with. Had I stayed for the second feature, I would have liked to hear the director explain, but I couldn’t convince myself that my time was worth it.
I saw more people leave during this one screening than all of the films I have seen combined. The only sound coming from the film was that of factory machines. I started to open my ears to the sounds emanating from the audience. The opening of sodas, the gulping of drinks, the crunching of popcorn and other snacks, the whispers of confusion between peers, the squeaking of chairs; all of these sounds were more interesting than the film. It started to become entertaining to guess how many people were going to make it through the entire feature. I almost regret not staying to see how close my number was, but I prefer keeping some of my intellect.