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Another Girl, Another Planet

USA, 1992 (MIFF 1994, Fiction)

Director: Michael Almereyda

Another Girl, Another Planet, a dreamy fable about a guy in an East Village walk-up and his serial love life, has gained considerable acclaim and notoriety over the last year, largely due to its unique look and particular production history. Directed by a respected collaborator of Wenders and Beresford, who had already made one large scale feature film (the wonderful Twister, a lost film in most countries), it was shot on no budget and a $60 Pixel-Vision toy camera! No longer on the market, this Fischer-Price marvel records on audio cassettes(!) and produces a striated black and white shimmering quality in its images, as direct and intimate as polaroid snapshots; as graphic and lush as Seurat drawings. Backgrounds seem to shimmer as if molten when the camera pans too fast.

Almereyda follows the lives of Bill and Nic, two best friends who share a fascination with the seeming randomness of relationships. Bill wanders through a series of increasingly ambiguous and unsatisfying affairs, as the pixelized images strikingly underline the story's atmosphere - a complex mix of home movie intimacy and lingering ambiguity. Wonderful low-key acting offset with improbable outbursts of lyricism and humour mark the tone. Gently formalist, the film is striking in its intimacy - as American as the East Village walk-up it was made in; as comically angst-ridden and grey as its images. What would be a disadvantage in any other movie becomes part of the texture of this comedy about the search for life's meaning and someone to go to bed with. As quirky and enigmatic as a Hal Hartley pic, and even cheaper than EI Mariachi, Another Girl, Another Planet is further proof that it ain't what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts.

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