Tag Archives: Sujewa Ekanayake


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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Cosmic Disco Detective Rene can be rented on Vimeo until 9/14.

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.

Still from Cosmic Disco Detective Rene: The Mystery of the Immortal Time Travelers (2023)

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.

Addendum: audio review for film enthusiasts who prefer audio reviews.


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Audio only link (Soundcloud download)

Quick links/Discussed in this episode:

Cosmic Disco Detective Rene: The Secret Society for Slow Romance 2
(2023): Discussion begins. Cosmic disco detective Rene investigates a potential invasion by immortal time travelers in this comedy sequel to The Secret Society for Slow Romance. It will be released for rental at some point in the near future (we’ll let you know). Cosmic Disco Detective Rene official Twitter site. Vimeo link. GoFundMe Page.

Sujewa Ekanayake personal website. Sujewa Ekanayake Twitter.

“Indie Discovery LA Film Series”: Discussion begins. Featuring the world premiere of Cosmic Disco Detective Rene (above) along with Three Worlds, Mother of all Shows, Six Days to Die, Strangers in a Room, and Bristol Fashion. Curated by Sujewa Ekanayake, the films screen in July and August in Glendale, CA. Schedule. Indie Discovery LA Film Series homepage.

The Boy and the Heron (est. 2023): Discussion begins. ‘s final film has debuted in Japan, and early results range from positive to ecstatic. Even better, it may be weird (at least, weirder than his previous final film, The Wind Rises): critics describe bizarre fantasy character designs to rival Spirited Away, and one Twitter commenter described it as “ in Ghibli”. Deadline collects critic’s first impressions.

The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future (2022): Discussion begins. A woman encounters her dead mother in this magical realist drama from Chile with an ecological angle. Now on DVD (not Blu-ray) and VOD. Buy The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future.

Once Within a Time (Fall 2023): Discussion begins. returns to filmmaking with this project, which looks like it might be a narrative feature rather than a documentary, with music by Philip Glass and Susan Deyhim. Distributor Oscilloscope posted an intriguingly strange clip on Twitter. Quotes from those involved describe it as “trippy,” and Reggio’s own statement on the project is cryptic: “You will be surprised how much your ear may see.” Debuts in theaters Fall 2023. Variety has more details.

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (2019-2021): Discussion begins. A feature-length OVA miniseries about a manga artist whose efforts to insert reality into his stories always result in surreality instead. A spinoff from the popular “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures” series. On Netflix; now on Blu-ray. Buy Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan.

Topology of Sirens (2021): Discussion begins. The discovery of a vintage hurdy-gurdy leads a female musician to investigates her dead aunt’s sonic experiments. Made by Omnes Films, who produced Ham on Rye, and featuring some of the same crew (notably cinematographer Carson Lund). Opening in theater this weeks, though we don’t know of any venues. Topology of Sirens official site.

Untitled project?: Discussion begins. Rumors abound of a new Korine feature produced by A24 studios, starring rapper Travis Scott. It was not the subject of a July 16 secret screening at the Metrograph, though (that was the sci-if miniseries Command Z). Speculation is it will be an action-adventure shot (entirely?) in infrared. It’s hard to imagine Korine making a straightforward actioner, but this is all speculative anyway. Read The Film Stage‘s report on the rumors.


Next week’s Pod 366 guest will be Anders Runestad, author of “I Cannot, Yet I Must: The Story of the Best Bad Movie of All Time, Robot Monster.” We also may be able to check in live with Giles Edwards at the 2023 Fantasia Film Festival. Whether we do or not, Giles will definitely submit a report or two, and perhaps an interview, from the festival next week (it’s all very fluid). In non-festival reviews, Shane Wilson will tackle yet another one that Came from the Reader-Suggested Queue with the 1986 fairy tale Momo, while, if he can remember to, Gregory J. Smalley reviews the sexy 2001 psychological thriller AmnesiA (released on home video in North America for the first time this year.) Onward and weirdward!