Before he goes on to direct a feature film version of Mark Millar‘s Supercrooks, Nacho Vigalondo has embarked on production of Open Windows, a rather novel little thriller that he has written himself.
The windows in question are not those of the old glass, smeared Windolene, Hitchcock kind, but those you’d find on a computer screen. For the entirety of its 90 minutes-or-so runtime, Open Windows will turn the cinema screen into a realtime presentation of one computer desktop.
It’s going to start a craze, you know.
The film’s producer, Enrique López Lavigne, described it in action movie terms:
Open Windows is full of twists, but it’s essentially a 90-minute chase, a continuous climax with unrelenting tension… it is also a powerful viral tool, with a wide potential for different audiences.
Well, he did until he started saying what basically amounts to gobbledigook. The film is a powerful viral tool what? And this tool has a wide potential for different audiences who?
Vigalondo did a better job, despite implying such basic “damsel in distress” mechanics that we can just call one character “the girl”:
Just as in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, the girl is captured. The hero will have to use every means at his disposal to discover where she is, and rescue her from the villain before its too late.
The hero is to be played by Elijah Wood, the girl will be Sasha Gray, and Neil Maskell is the villain, apparently named Chord. I think that casting sometime pornographic actress Sasha Gray as “the girl” in a film represented entirely by the screen of an internet connected laptop begs a few questions. I’m pretty sure that the film will bump against this part of her career somehow.
Vigalondo expresses his belief that this odd format will create a viewing experience in which:
the spectator becomes the protagonist of this adventure.
But that’s what has been said about everything from mock documentaries to fake documentary style camera work through to found footage pictures, and just isn’t true. It can’t be true – because we know we’re not making the choices the protagonist is making or controlling their actions.
The narrative feature film just can’t mesh with this kind of style, properly, in the way that many filmmakers have claimed. It’s a passive experience, at its core, and it’s better served by the standard, observational style.
Still, I think Vigalondo will have a lot of fun with his conceit and find plenty of surprising and interesting ways to twist the form around.
A novelty worth looking forward to, I think.