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“I think we’re living in a world that in fifty years we’re not going to recognize, because now we produce real objects. But with augmented reality… we’re going to transform the world.” -Miguel Llansó
DIRECTED BY: Miguel Llansó
FEATURING: Daniel Tadesse, Guillermo Llansó, Gerda-Annette Allikas, Solomon Tashe, Lauri Lagle
PLOT: Agents D.T. Gagano and Palmer Eldritch must enter the CIA-created alternate reality, “PsychoBook”, in order to investigate a sentient computer virus, Soviet Union. Abandoned within the virtual reality, Gagano finds himself in _Beta Ethiopia, where strongman/president/superhero-villain BatFro conspires with Soviet Union to distribute a VR byproduct known as “the substance.” Gagano’s reality-side fiancée, who hopes to open a kick-boxing academy, must now live with the prospect of him being trapped in a portable television display.
- An Estonian computer museum provided inspiration for the hardware aethestic in Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, but the machines on screen were mostly Apple products from the early 1990s.
- Solomon Tashe, who plays the African strongman dictator “Batfro,” , is a much-loved Ethiopian media personality.
- The unusual name “Mister Sophistication” was lifted from John Cassavetes’ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. However, like other characters in Llansó’s films, he was based on a regular at the Club Juventus, a gathering spot in Addis Ababa for Italian ex-pats and other larger-than-life clientèle.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Take your pick. Perhaps it’s stop-motion Richard Pryor and Robert Redford investigating a house infiltrated by a computer virus assassin. Perhaps it’s the “Jiminy Cricket” CIA AI spouting knee-high advice to Agents Gagano and Eldritch. And perhaps it’s the melodramatic conversation between a super-sweetie BBW kick-boxer and her television-bound lover. For the record, however, the official “Indelible Image” is cross-dressing super-spy, Captain Lagucci, sprinting off a roof to save a portable television. Much like Miguel Llansó, Lagucci just… runs with it.
TWO WEIRD THINGS: Coked-up Batfro to the rescue!; CIA Man trapped in a TV
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Llansó manages to make an “anything and everything” approach to imagery, symbolism, dialogue, and scenario gel into a unified whole. Obviously the plot for JSYtWttH is bonkers, and that’d be enough, but its mountain of antiquated tech, dizzying opening credits, vibrant colors, bug aliens, MIT conspiracizing, Cold War derring-do, and… You get the picture; just about everything in this movie makes it weird.
Trailer for Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway
COMMENTS: “Loading. Please wait.” Not a typical beginning for a Continue reading 12*. JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY (2019)