Interstate Image


By Calan Panchoo | May 10, 2023

Writer-director Samuel McIntosh’s Interstate is like a dream, drenched in eerie darkness and comforted by nurturing quiet. The short film, while heavily abstract, has just enough structure to raise compelling questions and likewise has just enough mystique to create lasting pathos. It’s ruminations on dreams and why we have them are fully embodied by the visuals.

Louie (Adam Jones), a young man living a purposeless existence, accompanies his acquaintance Kurt (Joseph Lopez) as they drive through some faraway backwater in the middle of the night. As we have all done during long midnight trips, Louie ponders with his free time. The film is recorded as one unending thought, broken up by naturalized interjections, much like our everyday thought process.

“…one unending thought, broken up by naturalized interjections…”

These dreamlike aesthetics make the core theme palpable. The haze of the car’s motion is juxtaposed with the lurid glare of the lights and the ambiguously lit faces of the two passengers. The visuals create a foundation from which Interstate builds its perspectives. Subtly, it raises key considerations, all universally understandable, such as our reactions to the pronouncements others have made of us or the justifications we use to continue our precise lives.

The final act of Interstate consolidates these ideas when the ongoing reverie is broken by the consequences of daydreaming. The question left to us is likely the strongest point: What happens to our lives when we dream for too long? McIntosh makes it a question worth pondering.

Interstate (2023)

Directed and Written: Samuel McIntosh

Starring: Adam Jones, Joseph Lopez, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Interstate Image

"…raises key considerations..."

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