Deadbeat slacker Andrew Garfield delves into the labyrinthine mysteries of La La Land on the hunt for a missing girl in David Robert Mitchell’s oddball neo-noir thriller.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
Fast becoming a cult favourite since its less than rapturous reception at Cannes last year, David Robert Mitchell’s deliriously shaggy noir takes us down a sprawling So Cal rabbit hole of pop culture references and conspiracy theories. If you can get on its wacked-out wavelength – which owes a big debt to The Long Goodbye and Mulholland Drive, as well as Hitchcock and Thomas Pynchon – you’re in for a treat. And even if not, strap in for a wild ride.
Full-time slacker Sam (Andrew Garfield) is content with wiling away his days smoking weed and spying on his neighbours. When a new girl (Riley Keough) catches his roving eye and then disappears overnight, his obsession with finding out what happened to her leads him into an increasingly surreal mystery, involving everything from a supposed dog serial killer and a mysterious songwriting svengali to homeless royalty and a bizarre death cult. The clues are hidden in plain sight, but only decipherable by those in the know. — MM
“Percolating with hazy menace, Mitchell’s inspired neo-noir joins the ranks of filmdom’s lovably loopy LA stories… Hypnotic, spiraling and deliriously high on its own supply of amateur-sleuth-movie references, Mitchell’s deeply personal follow-up to his relentless meta-horror film It Follows vaults him into Big Lebowski territory, by way of several Lynchian side streets. It’s the kind of raggedy-ass thriller that only happens when a young filmmaker, emboldened by success, throws away discipline, hoping to summon the full, meandering spell of a paranoid nightmare. Don’t hold it against him.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY