Widely known for her video film adaptation of The Rape of the Sabine Women, Eve Sussman debuted her new film whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir at Toronto International Film Festival. Composed of 3,000 clips, 80 voice-overs and 150 pieces of music, Sussman’s film inserts the “serendipity machine” in the seat of the editor as it takes us to a (literally) non-recurrent odyssey in the Dystopian/ Utopian City-A. Last week, the machine was restarted in New York, where it keeps generating a number of “new” films that would make Cecil DeMille jealous with its rate of productivity.
In between the good old Play and Pause, the computer algorithm forges an au courant narrative for the onlookers. All we know is that Mr. Holz, the Kid and Dispatch live in the Suprematist-Soviet City-A where Gilliamesque, dysfunctional means of technology runs the New Method Oil Company. The presence of an Authority — an authority that would see no harm in Lithium-poisoning its citizens, changing the language ration (who guarantees that one day you will wake up and still be able to say “egg”?) or “slowing” the Time down– not that they seem disgruntled by it — is distinguishable at all times. To say the least, retro Iron Curtain-kitsch interiors, enigmatic, wire-tapped phone calls and graceful Soviet balconies guaranteed.