Predicated on the narrative conceit of a photographer’s damaged eye, “Shutterbug,” New York-based Cyprian filmmaker Minos Papas’ tyro feature, spins experimental imagery and mystical manifestations into a gossamer-thin, ponderously off-the-wall plot. Pic depends heavily on lurid night photography and the physical beauty of its protagonist to illuminate an artist’s perilous passage through a Gotham netherworld under the Williamsburg Bridge. Though the low-budget pic is not without interest, its uneven thesping, sound quality and special effects might prove more welcome on the fest fringe than at Manhattan’s Cinema Village, where it bows March 19.
Fed up with the mundane crassness of fashion photography, a successful shutterbug (Nando Del Castillo) wanders the city snapping whatever images strike his fancy, including straight-on shots of the rising sun; this occasions not just spots before his eyes, but inexplicable visions of a strange woman (Stanislava Stoyanova) who flits in and out of view. His search for this phantom lady sends him to a sage who presents a theatrical parable about Phaeton’s disastrous chariot ride; our hero’s trippy pilgrimage is further fraught with psychics, satanic skateboarders, labyrinthine bordellos and all manner of thieves.
— Ronnie Scheib