By Mark Bell | June 30, 2014

As James Noel’s short film, Coordinated Film, opens, it tells you precisely what you’re in for: a compilation of actions, scenes and miscellaneous. The film then goes about delivering just that, indicating whether you’re watching an action, scene or miscellaneous by the use of the letter A, S or M, respectively, followed by an ascending order of numbers as the snippets go along. Some segments are fast, some are too long for their own good and all are arguably nonsensical.

Shot with a Fisher-Price PXL-2000 toy camera, the footage is black and white and pixelated often to the point that the imagery is ridiculously challenging to discern. Still, enough comes through to follow along. If you’re someone who needs a narrative of sorts, then the scenes segments are for you, as they follow along with a woman with a weird piece of paper, which she has invited some friends over to help her decipher. There’s at least dialogue and interaction in a more traditional sense in those snippets, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less abstract than the rest of the film.

My main issue with the film is length. At half its current running time (or even shorter), I think I’d be more fond and appreciative of what the filmmaker was creating here. Creeping up on forty minutes, however, its perplexing nature goes beyond intriguing and becomes tiresome instead. The charm just wears off.

Overall, though, it is fun to see the PXL-2000 in action again, and I like how the film managed to find an order and structure for itself that arguably does come together in the end (if you feel like coming up with a theory that connects the scenes, actions and miscellaneous beyond the crossover of the same actors). Perhaps this film is the cinematic equivalent of the weird, mysterious paper the character tries to decipher in the film, before everything gets even more insane; there’s a path to follow, but there’s no guarantee that it leads anywhere.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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