Fantasia 2013 Review: FATEFUL FINDINGS, Beyond All Working Definitions Of Cinema
Fateful Findings concerns the fallout of a magical day when two children, Leah and Dylan, discover a supernatural black cube.
It is not until years later, after the children have grown up, their friendship estranged, that the cube lives up to the hype and miraculously cures Dylan from the massive head trauma he acquires from a recent collision with a luxury sedan. Fresh from his coma, Dylan returns to his life, which consists of neglecting his unfinished novel in favour of hacking and exposing the secrets of every government and corporate "file", helping his wife curb her pill addiction, staving off the flirtatious inappropriate advances of his niece, searching for his long-lost friend Leah, and generally looking like an elderly Keanu Reeves with a penchant for book-throwing, laptop flipping and dreaming of hanging around naked in a room walled with garbage bags. Then things get even weirder.
I really don't want to describe more of the story then that. You really have to experience it for yourself.
Make no mistake, by conventional standards this film is terrible. Las Vegas real estate agent Neil Breen, the writer/producer/composer/editor/production designer/director and the aforementioned coma victim cum super hacker protagonist of Fateful Findings, is one of those folks, much like John De Hart and Tommy Wiseau, who likely once sat in a movie theatre and pointed at the screen proclaiming "I can do that", but not only could he not do that,, he could not do that to such an extreme degree that the result is not merely bad cinema, but something beyond all working definitions of the medium of cinema. Something that I cannot in good faith recognize as bad, because it is something that is composed of choices, ideas and agendas that I have never ever really seen before in a movie.
It's the kind of the film that substitutes Chekov's gun for laptops and books without fail. If one appears on screen, you can be sure that it will be flipped or thrown in spontaneous and outrageous frustration before the scene concludes.
This is ultimately why I love watching movies like Fateful Findings. It's not just for enjoying hilarious incompetence, more purely it is for the act of watching eccentric choices made by even more eccentric people. This is the appeal of filmmakers like Neil Breen. The average movie is comprised of a series of familiar choices - they're recognized as movies because there is a collective understanding of what movies are supposed to be, how they're supposed to bring an audience into a story. Fateful Findings does not assume any classic rules of cinematic form apart from those invented within Neil Breen's own mind. It is the definition of the uncanny, and it makes it all the more compelling in its pervasive oddness.
And for the purveyors of best worst movies, the aficionados of the so-bad-their-sublime, the champions of outsider art, and anyone who has ever thrown a spoon at a stage or
doused themselves in Nilbog milk, it may very well be the best cine-thing you'll see all year.
Fateful Findings was screened at the Fantasia Film Festival's La Nuit Excentrique 3 program.