Daniel Martinico's minimal, elliptical style and his use of repetitions and variations almost overcome the predictability of this case study in repression and alienation. In the first scene Paul Kaplan (co-writer Hugo Armstrong) appears in what looks like a police line-up; in fact, he's auditioning for one in a series of ridiculous commercials, part of a barrage of humiliations that his EST-like therapy class only aggravates. In the latter, he and several other LA acting casualties engage in free-form grunting and writhing that seems to combine meditation techniques with psychotic episodes. Armstrong puts in a compelling performance, his bulky body and big face (he looks a bit like Liev Schreiber) barely containing his growing frustration and fury until at one audition he delivers a bizarre monologue that is genuinely terrifying and moving. What follows next might be familiar to fans of Coppola's The Conversation and Michael Haneke's Seventh Continent.
IFFB 2012 | 79 MINUTES | APRIL 28 @ 2:15 PM | SOMERVILLE THEATRE