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Luca Takes A LOOK At Adam Rifkin's Newest Film!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I’m not sure I totally buy the backstory on how this guy got a chance to see this film... but then again, the AFI campus presents plenty of opportunities for sneakiness for an industrious film geek. Whatever the case, this guy really dug the movie, and I’ve gotta say... the premise intrigues me. Check it out:

Hey guys. Luca here from California by way of Albuquerque. Yeah, I’m a movie geek going to AFI out here, and I’ll probably get expelled for admitting this, but tonight I was attending a seminar at the school about costume design when I noticed a bunch of signs indicating a private screening up at the Mark Goodson theater. Bored with the seminar, I made my way up and noticed none other than CABIN FEVER’s Deputy Winston milling about. And then I overhear (okay, I asked), that this is a private cast and crew screening of Adam Rifkin’s new film, LOOK.

Now I don’t know about you, but in my book, DETROIT ROCK CITY is one of the best fucking movies of all time. And I even hate KISS. So when I hear that this is a new Adam Rifkin film, I get all excited. And then I hear Giuseppe is in it. So, I’m even more excited, and when no one’s looking, I sneak my ass in the doors, grab a seat and hope no one noticed. They didn’t. Too busy patting each other on the back about the great job they all did on the film.

Now you gotta realize—I’m sitting there and all I know is that this movie is called LOOK. I never heard of it. Hell, I don’t even know if Adam Rifkin has even directed a film since DETROIT ROCK CITY. So I’m wishing I had some weed to get in the mood, cuz if this guy made DRC, this has gotta be another “trip”, if you know what I mean. Well, it is – but not the kind I expected. Because the minute the flick started, I knew I was in for something completely unlike DETROIT ROCK CITY.

Guys—imagine if Adam Rifkin made CRASH and you would get LOOK. Simply put – IT’S FUCKING AMAZING. Withing seconds, I was already flipped out. Just black— and an opening title stating the fact that every day, Americans are caught unaware by over 170 surveillance cameras of all shapes and sizes. Hmmm.. That made me think of moments in my life I would not have wanted caught on film. And then the movie begins—a video surveillance camera inside a dressing room at a department store as a young hottie gets in, and yes, fellas, undresses, stares at herself, plays with her boobs and ass, and then lets in her best friend and begins to talk about the latest LA teen trend – asshole bleaching.

Then the girls steal some clothes and the film continues—with yet another scene shot from a surveillance camera. And then I realize—THE ENTIRE FILM IS SHOT FROM THE POV OF VARIOUS VIDEO MONITORS! Is this fucking brilliant or what? Department store monitors, ATM machine cameras, security cameras in a High School, a police station, a restaurant, a nanny-cam, a 7-11 camera… The whole film is a “verite” collection of the many different lives of many different people as seen from the cut together footage of various surveillance cameras. Just like TRAFIIC, just like CRASH, the lives of these people collide in surprising ways—but unlike those films, this film is played (and played to perfection) as a documentary. Were it not for the inclusion of Giuseppe Andrews, there was no other recognizable face and Rifkin had me buying that this was all REAL- until the end credits when the names of the actors came up. BRAVO, dude. You had me.

But even though this is “fake” reality, it is done with such finesse, such an awareness of the human condition, I have to honestly say, I couldn’t believe this was made by the same guy that made DETROIT ROCK CITY! This film has some really, really funny moments a la DRC, but on the whole, this is sobering stuff. There is a white middle aged WASP lawyer with a wife and child who we catch having a gay affair with his black colleague… a loser at work who we constantly see being the butt of the cruel (but funny) practical jokes of his co-workers... a despicable yet hilarious coke sniffing horndog at a Macy’s type department store who is screwing all of his female employees… Two CLERKS type slackers (one of which is Giuseppe) at a convenience store who pass the night yucking it up… and the 16 year old hottie of the opening scene who makes it her “project” to seduce her “married with a pregnant wife” English teacher.

Woven throughout these scenarios are two killers who we see killing a cop on a dashboard cop cam (the only moment that seemed staged) and then coming into close proximity with all the other players. We are always kept on edge wondering just how these lives will interconnect, and where these lives are going. It’s the ultimate reality show, the TRUMAN SHOW for real, and it makes you realize just how goddamned nosy we as a society are about everybody else’s business.

You also realize just how full of shit everybody can be, as we often see scenes rewound and played back from the flip perspective of the other side of a conversation- particularly in an amazing sequence where we first see the teen Lolita and her girlfriend flirting with the English teacher and another teacher— and then we see the after conversations of both sides. The older teacher confirms suspicions that, yes, teachers do think about screwing their students, and the girls confirm that yes, they think about screwing their teachers. Yet both conversations contradict the “propriety” of the initial encounter. Who is right and who is wrong? Nobody and everybody.

And that seems to be the gist of Rifkin’s film (which he also wrote). Everybody is a loser and everybody is a hero. But most importantly, everybody has secrets, and everybody has FLAWS, and all it takes is a moment, a brief 30 second detour from morality (or society’s perception of morality) and if that 30 second detour is caught on tape—BAM! You’re dead. For yes, after the first two thirds of amusing voyeurism, the final act turns dark and chilling, the consequences of all the lies and bullshit, the walks along the edge fully crossing over the lines. It’s haunting, and it hits you like a sucker punch, and if I say anything more, I will spoil the endings, and I don’t want to do that, for this is a film that simply must be seen. That must be discovered.

I dug CRASH, but this just had more resonance, for as I left the theater, wondering where and when this would ever play again as I heard there was no distributor though I bet someone like FOX Searchlight or Focus (if they are smart) will grab this up – al I could think was – FUCK- How much of my life has been caught on tape that I have no clue of. Somewhere, is there a video of me lifting that Tool CD I wanted but had no money to buy that week…? Is my argument with my girlfriend back in a New Mexico Wal-Mart on tape…? (I’m sorry I hit you, babe. I’ll never say it enough…) That time I got drunk and ran naked in a fricking thunderstorm on the beach in Venice…(Yeah, I’m an idiot) Is my private life being cut into a movie like LOOK by somebody somewhere, pieced together from footage from the 170 cameras that I am caught on everyday? What would that movie be like? Would I be ashamed? Proud?

Damn you, Rifkin, for putting those thoughts into my head. I just wanted to rock and roll all night and party everyday again with you. Instead, you made me think and think hard. You amused me and then you sucker punched me. And if anyone tells you this is far fetched, just tell them glance around at the world we live in. A world where the government is becoming George Orwell’s Big Brother and blaming it all on Al Queda. Rifkin – Your film is a masterpiece. I mean it. And it couldn’t be more timely. I’m sure you’ve got me sneaking into your show on tape—You had guys with cameras taping your every move tonight. (For LOOK 2 perhaps? I’m so there….) Let’s hope this one gets major play – It is technically ingenious (a gimmick that, for once, actually works and doesn’t get played out), thematically potent, entertaining, provoking, has a killer cameo from John Landis, some amazing tunes, believe it or not, from Giuseppe Andrews in collaboration with BT… and is a rare film that I just can’t get out of my head. Considering I started my evening at a costume design seminar and now am writing you about a movie I had no clue even existed, just because I had to shout about it to somebody—I’d say it’s (yeah, you knew this was coming) more than worth a LOOK. And by the way, guys, what would a movie of YOUR private moments be like? Adam Rifkin knows…

You had me at “asshole bleaching.” Thanks for the review.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 3, 2006, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by Little Beavis


  • June 3, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST


    by Elohim

    Had to be said... I mean come on.

  • June 3, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Adam Rifkin? I thought you meant Alan Rafkin.

    by OBSD

    Who gives a fuck abou Adam Rifkin?

  • June 3, 2006, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Actually, I've been a fan since The Dark Backward.

    by OBSD

    I just love the running gag on Action as well. This looks interesting even though comparing everything to Crash is getting a bit lame, when Crash itself is stylisticly the bastard son of Robert Altman's Short Cuts. When is Look coming out? Does anyone know?

  • June 3, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    speaking of weed, this post is 100% PLANT

    by lizard_boy

    come on, try to make it believable

  • June 3, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Luca sounds very...

    by veritasses

    Jerry Springer... No money to even buy a CD, shoplifting, punches his girlfriend in public, public nudity, public drunkenness AND he admits all this in a more or less public forum. So this guy's opinion can be trusted... why...? But I guess Gary Busey and other Hollywood crack smokers exhibit similar behavior all the time. The movie does sound interesting...

  • June 3, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Detroit Rock City...

    by DonkeyBalls terrible. What the fuck is this asshole talking about?

  • June 3, 2006, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Well all Crash had going for it was its style soooo

    by modlight

    take that away and you're left with unlikable characters and unrealistic stories and dialouge. Can't wait.

  • June 3, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Asshole bleaching!

    by Batutta

    Now that I think of it, my wife's asshole could use a little bleaching. Bye, bye chocolate starfish.

  • June 3, 2006, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Detroit Rock City is one of the best movies ever?

    by Alonzo Mosely

    Boy did I miss that memo...

  • June 3, 2006, 8:31 p.m. CST

    I'm gonna make a film about TBers' lives

    by Doctor_Sin

    And shoot it from the point of view of Harry's animated gif. Dicksmokers like this go to AFI, allegedly, and we wonder why Hollywood sucks? Man, this guy musta' done a line of coke while doing shots and smoking crack. This is beyond a plant - this is a whole goddamn forest full of trolls and roaming pieces of shit. Now, don't get me wrong - the movie sounds like it could be an interesting indie/arthouse thing...a bunch of strung-together snippets on videocams...but, this whole "dude, I am SO expelled if my prof finds out I scooted off to a restricted screening instead of going to the crapper" story is WEAK.

  • June 3, 2006, 9:36 p.m. CST

    asshole bleaching

    by ILK

    That's all we need... tighter, whiter assholes.

  • June 3, 2006, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Some women DO bleach their poopshoots

    by Doctor_Sin

    'Cos they are afraid their porn-loving men won't like them anymore if they got 'natural' buttholes. True - I read an article about it a couple months ago. It's some new social craze among some women to appear more 'pornstarish.'

  • June 3, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Asshole bleaching?

    by CatVutt

    Wow. I get implants. I get lypo, collagen, botox, bleaching roots, bikini waxes, and even navel piercings. But if you're getting your asshole bleached, maybe you wanna think just for a second about the kind of guy you're inviting back there in the first place, huh?

  • June 4, 2006, 1:07 a.m. CST


    by HolyCalamity

    Hey man, you are the most phony peace of shit reviewer I have ever come across. The entire time I was reading your babel all I could think of was that new kid in sixth grade, you know the one who came and told you all these fantasticial stories about how cool he was, BULLSHIT! You are a smug peace of shit and I hope I never read anything from you again... on a positive note, the flick does sound cool!

  • June 4, 2006, 3:28 a.m. CST

    You know what else Rifkin wrote? This review!!!!

    by all

    Dumb fucking plant.

  • June 4, 2006, 4:11 a.m. CST

    Rifkin has had all of two good movies in his career...

    by LeiaDown&FuckHer

    The fun slice of 80's cheese Never On Tuesday, and the truly bizarre and fucked up (and great, if you're into that kind of thing) The Dark Backwards. Everything else he's ever done has either been mediocre, if occasionally watchable (The Chase, Detroit Rock City, Denial, Welcome To Hollywood) or just out and out fucking batshit horrible (Psycho Cop Returns, Invisible Maniac, A Tale Of Two Sisters, Without Charlie)...I still haven't seen Night At The Golden Eagle so I don't know where that fits in, but regardless Rifkin's name isn't exactly a marker of quality these days...if it ever was. Add to which, I'm not one to ever call out plant, but this one sounds leafy as fuck. Meh, whatever.

  • June 4, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Obvious plant -- who do you think you're fooling?

    by Doc_McCoy

    "Damn you, Rifkin, for putting those thoughts into my head. I just wanted to rock and roll all night and party everyday again with you. Instead, you made me think and think hard. You amused me and then you sucker punched me. And if anyone tells you this is far fetched, just tell them glance around at the world we live in." Hahahahahahaha.

  • June 4, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    I stopped reading at:

    by Uga

  • June 4, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    I stopped reading at:

    by Uga

    "DETROIT ROCK CITY is one of the best fucking movies of all time."

  • June 4, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by godoffireinhell

    is a fucking masterpiece. Haven't seen anything else this dude has done, though.

  • June 4, 2006, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Adam, don't become a "Luca" to review your own films.

    by SalvatoreGravano

    Instead, just get Bobby Ray and do that "Psychocop III" already. Just like "Maniac Cop".

  • June 4, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Rifkin's oeuvre

    by Trader Groucho 2

    "a video surveillance camera inside a dressing room at a department store as a young hottie gets in, and yes, fellas, undresses, stares at herself, plays with her boobs and ass....". You have to given Rifkin credit for consistency. The plot of Invisible Maniac involves a high school science teacher smart enough to invent a formula to make himself invisible but clueless enough to do no better with this amazing invention than to watch teenage girls in the PE showers. Sounds to me like he's going to the same well, but now he's learned how to dress up his real subject of interest with social commentary. Isn't the difference - in some circles at least - between art and trash???

  • June 5, 2006, 8:56 a.m. CST

    "Teenage hottie... undressing"

    by brycemonkey

    Sounds rather voyeuristic and trashy. Although I like the premise of following characters/dialogue/action through random security cams. Also, there should be more asshole bleaching in movies... ;-)

  • June 5, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    I Guess Adam Rifkin Needs Some Bleaching.

    by heywood jablomie

    It had to be said.

  • June 5, 2006, 7:02 p.m. CST

    It's a plant, but I doubt very much it's Rifkin...

    by Wungolioth

    ...but it IS probably someone who had something to do with the production. I mean, if Rifkin wanted to promote his movie on this site, I'm sure any one of a number of the reviewers would jump at the chance to interview him about his new movie. I'm pretty sure one of the guys at this site made some mention of knowing him personally 'round about the time Night of the Golden Eagle came out, I think there might have even been an Austin screening.

  • Nov. 27, 2007, 1:44 a.m. CST

    I have seen LOOK

    by flawless1000

    It's actually right next to me, Adam is my cousin. The movie is okay, I'm not a huge movie guru but as an avid movie watcher I thought it was decent. There is kinda to much sex inthe movie (and this is comming from a guy who would never say that. Ha) But it deff. makes you think a little more.