UNSUNG INDIES: Cameron Worden’s THE IDIOT FACES TOMORROW

8

Film Pulse Score

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Giving the impression of operating from a place of aggressive indifference, Cameron Worden’s feature debut, The Idiot Faces Tomorrow, is a bizarre concoction of mixed film formats and styles forever staunch in its outright refusal to tip its hand in regards to intention and/or purpose. The Idiot Faces Tomorrow is a cinematic testament to giving exactly zero fucks when it comes to narrative cohesion, relatability, or anything that even comes close to garnering a descriptor resembling hospitable. Worden’s debut is the apex (or, perhaps more appropriately, the Marianas Trench) of unlikable character cinema.

The idiot presented is a young man in various stages of disheveled, plotting and scheming his way to freedom, freedom from the responsibility-laden ways of the world in order to direct all of his efforts into his wide-ranging drug hobby and a general shitshow display of his cognitive thought processes. Most conversations revolving around the drugged-out young man’s probing questions regarding his ability to potentially feign mental handicaps, his drug/alcohol intake and the possible ramifications and/or benefits of either in his attempts to procure employment.

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The idiot’s journey is episodic in nature as Worden presents one vignette after another in a staggered chronology, a catalogue of short films (seemingly filmed over the course of several years as the lead’s shifting appearance of age hints) interconnected by the lead and his pseudo-quest for employment. Each segment introduces and updates one of the facets that make up our lead’s personality and his motivations; mostly, a serialized account of drug use and the ways in which he can parlay said drug use into gainful means.

The film’s visual aesthetic is routinely shifting as the segment changes usher in adjustments in style and film formats; oscillating on the regular between digital and analog formats, Worden continually reinvents the film visually (while our lead’s story remains generally stagnant) giving The Idiot Faces Tomorrow much-welcomed breaths of fresh air throughout the film’s two-plus hour run-time, breathing new life into the production even though the idiot himself is slowly shuffling his way to a deteriorated state of utter uselessness. The only other constant to be found within would have to be the aforementioned zero fucks being given as the aortic artery of the film unfalteringly pumps DIY aesthetics with that fresh, fuckall attitude.

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It’s a challenging watch, no doubt. Each scene solidifying a probable viewpoint the viewer has developed – from the opening argument sequence – about the main character, introduced as an unperceptive dunce oblivious to the growing potential of bodily harm directed at his person because of a misplaced phone (perhaps) in the vicinity of the piss and shit he deposited on the bathroom floor of his aggravated host. Worden’s exercise in unlikeable character cinema is a point reiterated ceaselessly through each new episode, casting the idiot in a new unflattering light, bathing him in faults.

However challenging and/or difficult The Idiot Faces Tomorrow may or may not be, the alternating stylings and film formats that Worden employs do wonders in maintaining a certain level of intrigue to the proceedings. With each new episode, a new style is being implemented, whether it be a recognizable digital affair of two individuals simply discussing the future or an experimental video endeavor of dual view-screen playback. All of these forays into differing visual aesthetical regions help to secure piqued interest levels, even more so as the film grows increasingly more experimental down the home stretch.

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Intentions are shrouded behind the perplexing performance piece at hand, the motivations of the idiot remain unclear even though he routinely expresses his desires in a forthright manner. Or, at least, you find yourself thinking (hoping and wishing) that these verbally-expressed goals are nothing more than ruse, a distasteful long con of real-life trolling. Interestingly enough, Worden both reinforces that thinking while simultaneously undermining it as well.

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A tapestry of Super 8, VHS, 16mm and HD; Worden’s nightmarish spiral into the abyss of a pathological liar (wherein VHS footage of inebriation represents the drug-fueled haze of blurred consciousness, all color bleeding out like a stabbing victim slowly inching its way towards death, soaking and permeating outward across the frame like a linen-canvaslike surface heavily-prepped with absorbent ground, a stasis mirroring our lead’s like staring off into the distance until all matter blends into itself, a fog of existential nothingness or a slideshow of drunken dissatisfied revelry accompanied by an apathetic voiceover rundown of the accounts)  is equal measure clear-focused and rough-edged uncompromising; a slow, personal procession ghosting from society towards abject dependency, The Idiot Faces Tomorrow is the journey of a shit-dream realized.

YOU CAN VIEW THE FILM (IN ITS ENTIRETY) BELOW:

The Idiot Faces Tomorrow from Cameron Worden on Vimeo.