By: Katy Kleinginna (A Toast) –
“These days at the movie theater it’s rare to see anything on the marquee that isn’t a sequel or a reboot of a franchise. Studios are becoming more and more terrified to try anything with original content. Flashback introduces us to a future where there is no more original content,” says Brendan Rogers, writer/director/actor of And You Films’ debut, Flashback.
Flashback paints the tale of a dystopian Hollywood future where honest talent and creativity have long since faded into a mostly CGI future. Classic movies are now “robotically remastered” using the same storyline with robot actors instead of humans. The corporate sponsor of the film studio is a caffeine-nicotine infused energy drink company, “Nicofene.” (Fun Fact: Nicofene was produced in small quantity for the American premiere of the film, but the cast says they left out the nicotine as a safety measure.) The cast, dialogue, and biting sarcasm blend gracefully into a film with a premise unprecedented in recent film history.
It’s no secret that Hollywood films (contrived plots and all) have seen better days. Each passing year brings a reboot of a cinematic classic or a film so eerily close, that it might as well be a reboot. Flashback stands alone as it gives us a grim look into Hollywood’s inevitably awful future. (Human actors may never be replaced by robots, but the “talent” in today’s market is already pretty robotic.) Flashback takes the premise of a Hollywood meltdown and gives the idea a unique breath. The setting of the film is entirely CGI, with a dingy, pop-art feel perfectly tailored to the downfall of a once great industry.
Providing more satire to the film, a musical number featuring the entire cast of Flashback breaks out and leaves viewers with suspicion of a coup d’etat following closely. (Think Les Mis, but much less sad and easier to watch.)
Comedic talent pairs with sharp wit in the film once movie posters of “upcoming films” pop up here and there. Recent films may not all be direct reboots of old series, but some films toe the line between “inspired by” and “copied from.” (Looking at you, Hunger Games.) The upcoming film posters highlight the idea that plots can be recycled with minor adjustments made so the haunting term “plagiarism” is left off the table.
Flashback is a solid debut from And You Films, premiering at Cannes Film Festival in 2011. The future of Flashback is a topic of discussion in the studio, but no news has been announced regarding a sequel. Flashback delivers and impresses, leaving viewers with a slight feeling of hope for the cinematic future of America. Silly, ironic, and off-beat, Flashback is one of the best films premiering this summer.
Take a Drink: when an “upcoming film” poster makes you giggle
Do a Shot: when Star Wars is been quoted
Do a Shot: when Jack gets nervous