The main tenant of House of Latitude is Absolute Discretion, and since so many of the members follow it to the letter, we don’t exactly see what the goals of these “experiences” are or what happens once the group members are together. There are small glimpses into a couple of activities and one large “Town Hall” meeting, but the true magic that all the members are yammering about through the whole movie is not really captured, which is probably the point.
“…McCall seemed very interested in showing the magic to the audience who wasn’t there for House of Latitude…”
The most interesting part of In Bright Axiom (which is a common greeting in Latitude language) is the dissolution of the House of Latitude. Jeff Hull was starting to lose money on the venture and wanted to decide what the point of it was and how to restructure it going forward. So many of the members got so indoctrinated into House of Latitude, that they began to treat it as some kind of religion, which can definitely lend comparisons to a cult. Hull just intended for it to be an entertainment experience, and he thought the best way for House of Latitude to continue was to start charging its members $35 a month. It makes sense to charge for something that hemorrhages money, but many members seemed to forget that this was a business.
Even though I personally would never be the type of person to join one of these organizations, finding it all a little too Eyes Wide Shut to my liking, I find the mechanics behind the scenes to be utterly fascinating. Spencer McCall shows a little bit of what’s going on behind the curtain, but I would have liked to have seen more. If you’re interested in immersive experiential entertainment, then you will love going through the virtual initiations that In Bright Axiom takes its viewers on. McCall seemed very interested in showing the magic to the audience who wasn’t there for House of Latitude without breaking too much of that Absolute Discretion they keep mentioning. All in all, In Bright Axiom certainly held my attention even though for much of it, I was uncertain what was really happening, but in the end, it all begins to make sense, so in that way, the film is an initiation of its own. If that was McCall’s objective, he was successful.
In Bright Axiom screened at DOCNYC.