Red Flag

July 5, 2015


This is an amusing short little film that graciously does not even tilt toward existential meandering. We have before us a road-trip, but there is little concern as to the destination, or even journey itself – but simply the reactivity of the filmmaker touring his film at every tiny hole-in-the-wall with a projector, a screen, and theatre seating.


The filmmaker, from what we learn throughout the course of the film, which mind you only superficially engages us in his cinematic product, is a weak human being. He is one that is intimidated by confrontation. This is why he has to lie on an almost pathological level. We see his prevaricating not to harm anybody intentionally, but to simply preserve. He can’t be honest to anyone that he is one a break with his girlfriend at the least, or that they have completely split. In fact the roiling drama at the epicenter of the film has as much to do with the unintentional consequences of being milquetoast, where he cannot even bother to confront lovers to stop using his vehicle for a kissing branch lest they create adversary, than it does with any life-changing epiphanies about his life and the life of his girlfriend for seven years he has carried along without any decent sense to put a ring on it – or, to be acquainted with the cultural decline of the age, to impregnate her, as that at the least would fulfill her youth more than being strung along like a toy poodle.


We can read into his evasiveness with his relationship being consistent with this petrified soul who cannot exactly grow a pair. This resembles my critique of Breaking Bad when attempting to excavate the true nature of this pitifulness – is it sufficiently cultural inertia, of the Christian ethos toward glorifying meekness and loving thine enemy, which leads such a human to neurotically avoid inflicting, acting, hurting, others, even if such painful damage is just? After all, do we not hear the shrieks of the mothers of murderers when their beloved children are sentenced to life for premeditated murder? Is that not pain worthwhile? Alex is indeed a participant in this cowardly humanness, which is made even clearer with his choice of self-creation; a filmmaker, an observer, not a participator in the drama of living.


As a silver lining, however, we cannot condemn such a species of life absolutely; indeed he should be lauded for finding a way to create meaning in the world, which suits his soft archetype. It is simply that this persona is not practical. It is not functional in dealing with the reality of being human.


Grade: A



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