“Feedback” is a nifty little sci-fi thriller, no-budget filmmaking at its most inventive. As writer, producer, director and even editor, Teo Konuralp shines above all here. He takes conventional elements of millennial technoid storytelling and spins them into a surprisingly trenchant morality tale. It’s impressive work.
The moral of the tale is along the lines of “You can’t outrun fate.” To that end, “Feedback” opens with the pathetic sight of Mick (Jesse Harper), a cog in some sort of sinister tech conglomerate, lying gut-shot in a filthy back alley. His only possession is a nondescript black briefcase that contains a top-secret device – a clock connected to a phone, really – which can manipulate time by sending a signal into the past. Mick finds the strength to make one last call, six hours into his own past.
On the receiving end is a shady acquaintance, Lenny (Joe Tabbanella), and Lenny’s girlfriend Sarah (Melissa Pursley). Their first reaction is that Mick is simply insane, and we the audience are right there with them. But one exceedingly clever demonstration of the device’s power is all the proof Lenny and Sarah need that Mick is for real. It goes without saying that there are other, less understanding characters who know Mick is for real too.
What transpires is too neck-snappingly complicated to relate here, but it’s a testament to Konuralp’s skills as a scenarist that “Feedback” always seems to make perfectly logical sense, on its own terms. (In fact, the film won Best Screenplay as well as Best Editing at the 2002 Slamdunk festival.) The actors all do affecting work, imbuing the story with legitimate emotion, and Ted Andre contributes a pulsing techno score to top it off.
Konuralp is extremely resourceful as a director, particularly with his staging of a tense cat-and-mouse chase in the bowels of the L.A. subway system. If a “Terminator 4” ever comes to pass – in 2013, say, with Arnold kicking a*s from the comfort of his liquid-metal wheelchair – Konuralp could be just the man to orchestrate it. “Feedback” looks like the beginning of a brilliant career.