AKA Cosmic Disco Detective Rene: The Mystery of the Immortal Time Travelers; Cosmic Disco Detective Rene: The Secret Society for Slow Romance 2
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DIRECTED BY: Sujewa Ekanayake
FEATURING: Sujewa Ekanayake, Alia Lorae, Natalie Osborne, Genoveva Rossi
PLOT: Cosmic Disco Detective Rene is hired to investigate the light bridges cutting through the Brooklyn skyline while his lady friend Allyson considers various potential film projects.
COMMENTS: Sujewa Ekanayake’s film tackles three topics simultaneously:
- The current state and future prospects of independent and underground cinema, particularly in the context of New York City
- Cosmic Detective work, focusing on a case involving immortal time travelers
- Allyson’s butt, which is “looking really good right now.”
The particulars of the final item I will hold off on for the time being to allow more thorough discussion of the first two items which are the primary focus of Cosmic Disco Detective Rene (though considering the tone of this film, it would not surprise me if Ekanayake & Co. opted for a further analysis of the third topic). Join me now as I attempt the inadvisable and review the case results from the titular Cosmic Detective.
Ekanayake hangs his cinematic musings on a delightfully flimsy pretext: a government agent asks that he determine the motives of “immortal time travelers” who are passing through contemporary Brooklyn, hopefully so as to stave off the possibility of the US government sanctioning a nuclear attack on the “light bridges” used by these entities. That’s enough plot. Possibly, even, enough review. There are two disarming sequences in Cosmic Disco Detective Rene which make me question this exercise. First, I am presumably viewing this film through my “imperialist” lens, and as such, I will be bringing my own pre-existing biases and hang-ups to this process. (I will politely disagree with the accusation, and suggest I’d be happy to discuss the issue with the filmmaker.) This ties in with the second point: that each movie should be judged on its intentions.
Sujewa (if I may), that’s how I roll. While definitions of “entertainment” can, and should, vary, every film should divert the mind in some manner. This can be for motives as basic as simple amusement, or more ambitiously, to trigger entirely new chains of thought and reaction in the mind of the beholder. As Rene absorbs his surroundings, occasionally tuning in to the “Cosmic Disco” beneath it all—a simple process: place your left hand near your left ear, with that hand’s pointer and index fingers raised upwards—potential motives for the travelers emerge. (One of my favorites concerns dangerous future-bears.) Every now and again, socio-political asides spike the easy-breezy atmosphere, which prompted me to consider some of my notions. I have no doubt that is Ekanayake’s intention.
Cosmic Disco Detective Rene is akin to a train ride of semi-focused discussion while watching dozens of potential plot-lines and stories passing by the window. I give nothing away when I tell you that Rene solves the case; New York City is not leveled by nuclear weapons. And while that’s partially the point—otherwise this movie would not have its (primary) title—the real Cosmic Disco detective work is the ideas triggered whilst traveling along this nonsensical plot structure. If you want a linear narrative, think twice before popping this on-screen; but if you want some affably catalyzed food for thought about storytelling, breaking through preconceptions, and the nature of cinema—as well as plenty of shots of Allyson’s butt—then you should consider tapping into the Cosmic Disco and giving this film a look.
See also our Pod 366 interview with the director.