Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Into the Storm, Steven Quale, 2014

People stretching their arms skywards in order to point their cameras at a huge cgi tornado devoring everything in its way. A man who has built a kind of "media tank", fortified in order to take images right inside the eye of the storm. A woman who calculates storm routes on a complex computer setup (although obviously just watching the weather report on local television would have the exact same result) in order to place herself consciously in harms way while talking to her daughter on the phone.

The found footage concept feels even lazier than usual, and still it makes visible some unpleasant undercurrents of modern image culture. Clearly, not just the storm hunters, but also the teenage boys documenting their lives for their future selfs ("Hey self, what is it, twenty five years in the future") long for the perfect storm in order to add emotional intensity to their video diaries.

On some level, INTO THE STORM is a rather pure, and sometimes even touching rendering of the death drive at the core of popular culture. This is especially evident when, in a pre credit scene, the two stupidest characters in a film full of stupid characters are shown to have survived against all probabilities - like the eternal victims of classic cartoon series these "twista chasers" will forever continue to jump into the abyss while live-streaming images of senseless, hysteric doom from their cellphone cameras.

Unfortunately, on most other levels (including, unfortunately, casting), it's just a rather uninspired mainstream film.

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