Nerdlocker Movie Review: Creative Control


Creative Control debuted in 2015 at SXSW where it won the Special Jury Award for Visual Excellence. It was picked up by Magnolia Pictures and is now playing in theaters across the country. Benjamin Dickinson (Super Sleuths), the film’s co-writer, director, and star, makes the most of a minuscule budget ($1 million) and delivers a polished movie with slick effects and gorgeous B&W cinematography.

The setting is New York City in the near future; gentrified Brooklyn, clean and sterile. The gadgets and technology are more advanced than present day, but they feel real and inevitable. David (Dickinson) is an advertising exec tasked with developing a high-profile ad campaign for a new generation of Augmented Reality Glasses. (Enter Reggie Watts, playing himself.) They look like traditional hipster specs, but these glasses are anything but ordinary. They’re essentially a wearable computer with vast capabilities, able to project a holographic-type image into the field of vision that can only be seen by the wearer. David is given a pair to try out, and things get interesting when he starts crushing on his friend Dan’s girlfriend, Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen), and uses the glasses to make a life-like avatar of her. David is not in touch with his emotions and is currently stuck in a funk with his own girlfriend, Juliette (Nora Zehetner), due to an inability to communicate. The glasses allow him to escape without facing his problems and he’s quickly addicted to them like he’s addicted to the pills he’s constantly popping to battle anxiety. When fantasy and reality begin to blur, there are real-life consequences for David and the folks around him.

Sounds heavy, huh? Creative Control is actually a comedy with a pleasant tone. It’s considered Sci-fi and it’s also a social satire. Like ‘The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’ from Dickens A Christmas Carol, Dickinson’s film takes a look at our tech-addled future and some of the issues we will likely encounter if we continue down this path. It never feels unbelievable. The plot isn’t overly complex and there are fun moments like the bizarre Reggie Watts ad that is reminiscent of the Strangé commercial in Boomerang. The B&W gives the movie a somewhat surreal feeling and the subtle coloring in the effects is a nice touch. Like Ex Machina, Creative Control is an example of a low-budget movie that uses solid visual effects in moderation, in a way that both serves the story and creates/enhances the visual aesthetic.

4 out of 5 Nerdskulls

Now playing in Houston at AMC 30 and AMC Gulf Poine 30. Check here for a theater near you.




Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

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Salty Winters

Salty Winters once said, "Everything I learned I learned from the movies." He was quoting Audrey Hepburn.