Review: ‘Impolex’

Reveling in its provocative absurdity, "Impolex" is a madly uncommercial head-scratcher that will strike a dream-logic chord in some viewers and leave others in a "My kid could do better than that" mood.

Reveling in its provocative absurdity, “Impolex” is a madly uncommercial head-scratcher that will strike a dream-logic chord in some viewers and leave others in a “My kid could do better than that” mood. Alex Ross Perry’s nanobudget frosh feature presents a befuddled WWII-era American soldier wandering through European woods, eating bananas and seeking unexploded V-2 rockets. En route, he converses with inexplicably materializing figures, including an eyepatch-wearing Englishman, a prison escapee, a garrulous octopus and a hypercritical sweetheart. This 2009 production opens July 15 at Brooklyn’s Rerun Gastropub Theater even as Perry’s second film, “Color Wheel,” orbits the festival circuit.

With: Riley O’Bryan, Kate Lyn Sheil, Ben Shapiro, Bruno Meyrick Jones, Roy Berkeley.

“Impolex” exerts a certain minimalist hypnotic thrall, greatly helped by the vibrant green palette of Sean Price William’s handheld camerawork, an audaciously eclectic soundtrack and the idiotic conviction of Riley O’Bryan’s exhausted, shrubbery-navigating GI. “Tyrone S.,” presumably named after Tyrone Slothrop, the hero of Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow,” vacillates between catatonic blankness and lucid self-assurance. But here, as in “Color Wheel,” a nine-minute single-take closeup of a woman (Kate Lyn Sheil), delivering a weirdly revelatory monologue, unexpectedly catapults the film to another level, breaking viewers’ otherwise understandable alienation.

Impolex

Production

A Dorset Films production. Produced, directed, written, edited by Alex Ross Perry.

Crew

Camera (color, 16mm-to-35mm), Sean Price Williams; music, Preston Spurlock; production designer, Anna Bak-Kvapil. Reviewed on DVD, New York, July 10, 2010. Running time: 73 MIN.
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