You Are Here is a smartly-crafted commentary on our modern day existence. Comprised of interconnected mini-narratives, the film’s characters find themselves trapped in bizarre social experiments of their own making.
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Archive Fever. Conspiracy theories. Situationist International. Video art. Experimental video. Charlie Kaufman & Jacques Derrida. Cameos by Franz Kafka and Julio Cortazar. Bureaucratic. Borgesian. Brilliant.
Like a cross between, I dunno... Schizopolis, A Walk Through H, Pi, The Crying of Lot 49, Kafka, Borges, my shitty, bureaucratic desk job, and my sense of my existence these days. Well done! Set itself up to be nothing less than a Clever Philosophical Movie and, whaddya know? Kinda nailed it. Enjoyed this a lot. 4.5
This film handles meta cognizance in a way that is unparalleled by any other film. It explains human thought and the crisis of being so perfectly, so acutely in a way that is both comprehendible and relatable to every day life. The interwoven narratives each find their match and give a great aha moment. The film pays the viewer massive dividends to follow and remain invested in each touch. Each word added something.
Cockburn delivers a shotgun-blast of heady existential quandaries and theoretical exercises, with little attention paid to pacing (endless at only 78 minutes) or aesthetic value. Crucially lacks the human factor present in fellow "puzzle box" films like PRIMER or COHERENCE. With nothing to hold on to, the viewer is lost beneath the waves with no incentive to find her/his way out.
Have you seen 'Mindwalk'? That 1990 film starred Sam Waterston, John Heard, and Liv Ullman. Well, that film was very low-tech and somewhat confusing as well. I can't say if this film is better, though it's just different enough to be fresh. But this one is at once more detailed and more abstract. My pet name for this film is 'Mindf**k'.
Everything was going so smoothly until the laser pointer. Now I have a **ADAC**.
The effort of trying to understanding the world (as an archive). The powers of consciousness. The music of chance. The human being as a collective. All interesting themes, but none properly investigated.
At times it really manages to slip under your skin and into your brain. It's like the movie itself is talking to /you/ – popped out of the blue just for you. Like the Archivist you start collecting hints, perfectly conscious that you're entering a labyrinth. But in the end it all feels disconnected: the labyrinth was just an illusion trick, and the magic vanishes. I thought there was more. Still it's worth the ride.
Strangeness for the sake of strangeness does not always work. Here it does. At times laugh out loud funny. At times head scratch inducing. At times something you will end up thinking about for sometime after. There are threads here I would love to follow further regardless of where they might take me.