New People Cinema Tue, Nov 10, 2015 7:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Sophia Cacciola
Running Time:80
Year of Release:2015


MAGNETIC Director: Sophia Cacciola & Michael J. Epstein Screenwriter: Sophia Cacciola & Michael J. Epstein Cast: Allix Mortis, Michael J. Epstein, Sophia Cacciola USA, 80 min, 2015

You’re more than likely to glean something vastly different than the person next to you throughout this locally-harvested, analog sci-fi romp towards self-discovery. Or the discovery of selves. Or something. Musicians-cum-filmmakers Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein have created a tale just as ambitious and beautiful as it is perplexing and infuriating. Stuck somewhere between end-of-the-world verisimilitude and ambiguity, Magnetic will draw you in—but you may never quite be sure just how or why.

Alice (Allix Mortis), a Lisbeth Salander-ish heroine, flees New York City for a frozen rural homestead where the sheep are plenty. She has a terribly shitty job where she calls the town’s parents to let them know their child is dead and from which morgue they can retrieve the bodies. She is also the only person who still has the power to dream.

There are also several Alices, many closeup shots of Alice’s eye, a Tesla coil, and an all-female sect of Ra worshippers who share the sartorial sensibilities of another cult with an Egyptian-sounding name.

A lot going on, perhaps, but just let the film do it’s thing. Much of Magnetic operates as an extended music video, each full track lamenting confusion, loneliness, and ennui in a way dialogue cannot. The [f**king phenomenal] throwback electro soundtrack is the emotional core of the film, admitting what Alice refuses to feel. It is both her foil and her truth.

Magnetic is a love letter to our need for purpose and belonging, to the circuitry that binds us to ourselves and others—and to rotary phones, cassette tapes, and the sound of sweet, sweet synthpop. But you’ll probably think it was about something else entirely. – Melinda Green