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Trygve Luktvasslimo has many things to say about the evils of global business, agricultural affairs, and especially bitcoin. As screeds go, Bitcoin Car is, at least, a largely whimsical one. The plot description (if you’ll pardon the long quotation)—“a musical adventure in which a young goat farmer on a small coastal village finds herself on collision course with the megalomaniac death wish of a young crypto investor. After her brother comes home for the summer, she has to explain that she’s partially responsible for the gold-plated bitcoin mining facility located on top of the cemetery where their parents are buried because she accepted a lot of money in order to pimp out — and gold plate — her old Toyota”—suggests a number of possibilities, and its oddness is what caught our eye.
However, Gloria’s campaign against Big Crypto is peppered with long remarks extolling the evils of This (I do feel that bitcoin mining is an appalling waste of resources), and the goodness of That (I do not feel that digging in a hole in the ground should be romanticized). Bitcoin Car is capably executed by all involved, and has a few fun musical interludes with singing angelic electrons (“My Electric Blues,” with accordion and holy chorus, is an unalloyed delight), but it is far more preachy than weird.
Darla in Space
Are you getting enough from your kombucha? Sure, it may revivify and refine your gut—but where are the mind-blowing orgasms? Susie Moon and Eric LaPlante feel you deserve more. It’s nothing tawdry (despite the motel backdrop), it’s therapeutic, a “menage.” And unless your scoby is getting your rocks off, are you really having a refreshing quaff of kombucha?
Darla in Space is a fairly compact experience in cuteness, supported by solid performances and a charismatically deadpan scoby around the size of a kiddie pool. Darla is in horrible debt to the IRS (courtesy of her insensitive mother), and a chance discovery of a sensitive, sentient scoby (referred to as… “Mother”) puts her on the path to paying off her massive tax burden through its power of delivering mind-blowing orgasms.
Characters are established (Darla is quirky, as we know from the start with her advertisement for “Kitty Kaskets”), plot points are ticked, montages montage, and complications in the film, as in life, get complicated. But, this being a movie, we know all loose ends will be tied. Alex E. Harris keeps the hipster-awkward Darla just this side of believable, and J.S. Oliver provides a cuddlier take on the HAL phenomenon. Perhaps worth another look by our crack squad here at 366, but at least all the synopses, trailers, and press releases are up-front about the hyper-quirk. You have been warned. (Or, just as reasonably, you have been intrigued.)
Major points awarded to writer/director/&c. Nils A Witt for this science-fiction oddity. His protagonist’s assuredness and mechanical aptitude renders The Washer a combination of Primer and Pi, as our hero (of sorts) falls deeper and deeper into developing his time-bending invention comprised of an ever-growing array of synchronized washing machines. There is never any point in this tech-thriller where the premise is explained, even with the clever inclusion of various academic-looking types explaining this, that, and the other about the physics of time, space, light, and causality.
Jan is at the start of his career with what appears to be a small but respectable law firm, but his growing fascination with the spinning, watery-eye of his washing machine’s view port shunts him down a rabbit hole of strange science and personal alienation. As his research deepens, a mysterious woman stalks the periphery, and his failure to pay his bills—alongside the tremendous increase in water and electricity use noticed by the municipality—grind him down, leaving him covered in grease, clothed in ragged garments, and limping by the time he has fully assembled his rig. While Witt’s directorial debut makes the human toll all too clear, the science is left both mysterious and mundane. The Washer is a nice, quiet little speculative noodle-scratcher, and I look forward to another Witt work, whether I’ll understand it or not.