Tuesday, October 15, 2013

SIlver Circle (2013)

I am forever looking for small independent films needing to be helped along to find an audience. When I was at New York Comic Con this weekend I picked up a couple of small films that filmmakers were selling in the hopes of find some hidden gems.  One of which was the animated SILVER CIRCLE.

Pasha Roberts's film is set in a future a few years off. The worst economic crisis ever sparked an economic collapse that resulted in the rampant inflation and the Federal Reserve taking over the housing markets. Gold and silver has been outlawed and money is worth less each moment that passes. After the Fed clears out a track of homes, eleven of them are burned down. Investigator Jay Nelson is put on the cases which drops him down a rabbit hole as he discovers a rebel movement and finds out what is really going on, and who is really in control.

The first thing you have to do when you see this film is get past the animation style. Looking more like a retro video game than a feature animated film, the films style is going to lose viewers just on the face of it. You have to push past the low budget style. We have to celebrate that some one is telling a good crime story and not worry about the animation style. The fact that I'm saying go past the animation style says a great deal about the film.

If you get past the animation style you have to decide how you are going to look at the film. Will you take it as a straight on thriller, in which case you'll have a pretty good time; or are you going to see this as a political tract and polemic on the evils of the Federal Reserve, in which case the film collapses.

To be honest the films big problem is that the film was designed as a rant against the Fed and big finance. Through out the film the action stops dead as one character or another rambles on to our hero about what the Fed has done and is doing.  Not only do the long winded rants kill forward momentum they take place in a world that is part of some alternate reality. Yes there are problems with the Fed,but the big conspiracy that Roberts is claiming to exist is more dystopian fantasy than reality. It requires huge leaps of faith and logic that just aren't there and the likelihood of say the Fed getting a police force and control of housing just isn't likely to happen any time soon, even if there were an economic crisis.

If one wanted to keep it simple the reality of the film is pure fantasy- look at the way the world is set up and consider what the world shows of how people live and realize things would be vastly different considering the price of bread is 58 dollars a loaf. Look at post WW1 Germany- which I know is what Roberts was aiming at when he missed the mark. Things would be much more chaotic. Things wouldn't be as they are now, but vastly down graded. The background universe of the film is being set up to make a point not to actually work which is where the WTF moments come from. This is a world that comes a writers imagination and not reality.

If you can ignore the polemic the film is actually a pretty good thriller. Yes its the sort of thing we've seen before any number of times where one good man is sent on a quest that ends up revealing a grand conspiracy, but the film is well written (politics aside) and has some great action set pieces- I like Jay being rescued by Zoe early in the game, and it has some great slimy villains.

Is it a great film? No but assuming you can divorce yourself from the off the wall universe the film operates in it is a good one that I would watch again.

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