Benjamin Berger’s short film, The Feed, takes place in a future where organs and other body parts are not just transplanted, they’re replaced and modified. In the case of this particular tale, Dr. Tobin (David Gable) is about to switch out the brain of a young girl with a feed-friendly replacement; the feed being a sort of heads-up display that is reminiscent of the TV Guide channel mixed with the internet, only now news, music, advertising and the like is piped directly into the brain, as opposed to via TV. The brain can also be interfaced by cable ports just like any other piece of computing or entertainment equipment.
Dr. Tobin is strangely anxious about the surgery, however, and seems stuck on interfacing with another patient, Matt (Scott Michael Morales), first. As the stress rises and his nurse, and the surgical patient’s mother, press for the doctor to get the surgery going, the ghosts haunting the doctor are finally revealed. Can he introduce the feed to yet another person, considering the potential consequences?
The Feed tackles the idea of technological and medical advancement with an appropriately dark gaze; to what end “improvement,” especially if it means we’ve all got televisions running non-stop in our heads. Is the feed truly an improvement? Does it matter whether it is or isn’t, if it’s status quo?
The film handles the doctor’s personal conflict well, though I will admit that there were moments where I was confused as to what was going on. Even when the explanation is finally made, I wasn’t one hundred percent clear on it. There’s a complexity married with ambiguity in moments, and while I love a challenge, I wasn’t always up to it. To that end, the film could be worth multiple viewings.
Which wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s an extremely well-crafted short film, with all the appropriate sci-fi bells and whistles, moving along at a proper speed. It has a look that is clinically antiseptic while at the same time somehow seeming dirty, the contradictions of the intentions and the actual actions, maybe.
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