This Friday, the second night of Cinedelphia Film Festival is bringing a real treat. Cult director Neil Breen is presenting two of his films, Pass Thru and Fateful Findings, with a Q&A and meet and greet for each film (the tickets are sold separately- full info is in the hyperlink above). This is a special night, and if you long to find yourself comforted in the heart of a bizarre movie geek world, this is the place to be. I was unable to view Pass Thru ahead of time, but just caught up with Fateful Findings last night.
When Fateful Findings was released in 2013, it garnered comparisons to Tommy Wiseau's 2003 film The Room, a movie that probably needs no introduction to our readers here at Cinedelphia. Fateful Findings follows a middle aged novelist named Dylan (played by Breen), who gets hit by a car when crossing the street one day. A magical stone he found as a child when frollicking around with his best friend Leah (played as an adult by Jennifer Autry) affords Dylan incredible healing powers, as he finds the strength to elope from his hospital room and return home, against the advice of his doctor (who happens to be Leah). We also meet his pill addicted, clinically depressed girlfriend, his alcoholic best friend, that friend's shrewd wife, and her flirtatious step daughter. But these characters are mostly window dressing to the real core of the film, Dylan's love affair with Leah and his secret hacking operation of the world's most secret government and corporate secrets. It turns out that the writing of his second novel has just been a ruse to hide and protect his real passion- the exposure of the lies and hypocrisies of our world institutions.
It wouldn't have earned comparisons to The Room if not for there being several curious choices made throughout the film. There is plenty of gratuitous nudity, therapy that resembles a corporate board meeting, a hacking station with computers that don't seem to turn on, plates of spinach haphazardly set on a stack of folders, routine hygiene confused for seductive behavior, and much much more. I was sometimes reminded of David Lynch, particularly his film Lost Highway. Much of the deep ambience of the sound design, and the bizarre visions that Dylan experience, recall the puzzle box dream logic of Lynch. That is, if Lynch had Wiseau himself directing one of his scripts.
Breen is a passionate filmmaker, with a singular worldview he cares deeply about communicating. Fateful Findings is certainly the type of film to see with an appreciative audience, and since any viewing of it immediately brings to mind at least 25 headscratching questions, you won't want to miss your opportunity to ask Breen himself, right there in the flesh.
Neil Breen is making his first ever appearance in Philadelphia as part of the Cinedelphia Film Festival, Friday April 14. Event details and purchase tickets here.