Nothing Really Happens (2017)

I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

I mean, it is strange.  Very strange.  Weird things happen.

And yet, throughout, our put upon protagonist remains…numb.  Weary.  Disconnected.  Apathetic.

I think the spirit of this one was best summed up in the end credits, when they gave special thanks to “That “Greasy Cokehead Director Guy” at that one Texas Festival who told us we couldn’t make a movie in our spare time with no money.”

And to Shane Caruth, who directed Primer.

And Kevin Sorbo, for absurd reasons you would have to watch the movie to understand.

What we have is a director with real — if somewhat demented — vision, who saw how to take our drab everyday world and make it into something inexplicable and constantly surprising.

Is this a science fiction film?  I don’t even know how to begin to answer that one.  We have a moment when our hero ends up in the future, a tale of another character ending up in a land ruled by robots, but are they what they seem?  Is anything in this film what it seems?

When we do learn what is going on, one might link it to certain classic SF films — but the context is so bizarrely different — and rooted in the past — and, well, tied to someone who can most charitably be described as utterly unreliable.

Not to mention who is behind these terrifying events and why.

Or in other words we have the tale of a mattress salesman, running his Father’s store, who is consumed by existential doubts, beset by surreal occurrences, pursued by sinister figures, and trapped in what appears to be a sinister conspiracy…

As you would expect of a film like this — whatever that might be — Writer/Director Justin Petty’s name shows up again and again in the credits, doing just about every job you can imagine.  As does Joseph Graham who played Carl.  Adam Edwards, who stars, also produced, and there are a surprising number of Pettys and Grahams listed, with most of the cast taking on at least one or two other roles.

Now I should note that there is one moment of nudity which might give them a little trouble getting an “R” rating, although it’s just strange and mostly harmless.  But then, this isn’t exactly the kind of film anyone is likely to take the kids to anyway.

It ends on a remarkably high note, with a moment so perfect one has to wonder if it was a lightning flash of improvisation: a moment that seems caught almost by chance, with a laugh and a smile bringing the story to a genuine happy ending.

Just amazing.

Let’s face it, this one isn’t for everyone.  However, for those willing to explore something out of the ordinary…or perhaps one might say, that transforms the ordinary, it is definitely worth a look, whatever it is.

So keep your eyes open.

It might not come to a theater near you.

Watch on Amazon:

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And check out our new Feature:

The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!

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