CREATIVE CONTROL is a film that is not afraid to challenge its audience. Blending multiple realities, existential angst, and the problematic relationship we have with technology, it poses intriguing questions about creativity while also exploring levels of tragedy and absurdity that are truly epic. When I spoke with its director/co-star/co-writer Benjamin Dickinson and co-star comedian/philosopher/rapper Reggie Watts on February 26, 2016, I should not have been surprised that conversation would eventually turn from the eternal struggle between art and commerce, to speculation about the reality of space spores and the taxonomic classification slime molds (neither slime, nor mold).
We started, though, with one of my favorite mantras, and something that I thought the film explored with an incisive prescience: Technology is our friend, but it’s not our >good< friend. Dickinson and Watts pondered that proposition before revealing the germ of a technological run-in that led to the film, which proposed social media as a sort of torture chamber.
All in all, a conversation as mind-expanding as the film itself, and that was before we got to the whole question so spores from space seeding the earth, and Reggie explaining the difference between loops and spirals.
Sit back and enjoy.
CREATIVE CONTROL is a very dark comedy about virtual reality, subjective experience, and existential angst. Dickson stars at David, an ad guy who can’t get the name of the office receptionist right, who longs for his best friend’s girl, and is slowly succumbing to his addictions. It’s a situation that is exacerbated when he is tasked with coming up with marketing new virtual reality glasses that combine the virtual with the analog for the user. It also for becomes an opportunity for David to move up the corporate ladder, using Watts, who plays a version of himself, as a creative shaman to discover the endless possibilities that the glasses offer, and the chance for David to explore parts of his psyche that he might not have intended to. The film co-stars Nora Zehetner, Dan Gill, Alexia Rasmussen, Paul Manza, Gavin McInnes , Himanshu Suri, Jay Eisenberg, H. John Benjamin, and Jake Lodwick. Dickson directed from a script he co-wrote with Micah Bloomberg, and the film won the Special Jury Award at the SXSW film festival.