A review of my first feature film from 2006.
This is the first film from filmmaker Joseph Larsen, who also made the interesting and previously reviewed anti-slasher "Tonight, We Stay Indoors". In similar style, "Cosmic Dissonance" isn't aiming to be part of a genre, or even to please the current generation of ADD youth. On paper "Cosmic Dissonance" is a sci-fi flick, but the only typical element of science fiction that you will find here is the lack of human life on Earth. That's what I really enjoy about his films as well - he takes a concept we've seen before, and starts it off in familiar ways but then we soon realize he is leaving us there too. We're not gonna see a bunch of action or over-acted drama.
"Cosmic Dissonance" is about a woman and the loneliness she feels in a post-apocalyptic world as she is trying to find signs of life. If you hate it then it's a film about walking, but if you like it then you'll see a lot more in it. It might not be politically charged, but it carries a large portion of human nature. It's about a woman having to accept that she is lonely. Even if she happens to find someone else, they're either dead or just not interested in teaming up. And in the end it's just one of many ways that humans can adapt. Going from a social media world where people want to live as close to each other and shopping as possible, to an almost dead world. One that will be more and more dead for each day. Or, is it just a film about walking?
Joseph Larsen manages to do a lot with his technique. It's not one that requires a lot of money or a big crew, but it does require SOMETHING to make an hour long film about a woman who walks around not saying a word that works. I'll admit that I wouldn't have been as accepting to the film had it been 90 min or 2 hours long. But an hour is the perfect length for this kind of film. I think it might also be part of the point to make this film feel longer than it is. It makes sense that we'll suffer the same feelings of loneliness that our lead is.
It's very similar to his latest film "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" in almost every aspect, and I think maybe that's both good and bad. Part of me thinks it would make a fantastic, depressing trilogy in the future (I have yet to see "When the Sidewalk Ends", so maybe that one does complete the circle). But then another part of me wonders what else he can do. He obviously knows how to play with human emotions on a subtle level. "Cosmic Dissonance" isn't for everyone. Most people out there will be bored by it, and that's fine too - I understand why. In the end I don't love the film, but it's an interesting experience and I am very interested in Joseph Larsen as a filmmaker.