Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 9 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
Here’s a Film Threat reviewing first, folks — the screenplay of a reviewed film, presented in its entirety. Struggling screenwriters, take note:
INT. NIGHT. A SPARSELY FURNISHED LIVING ROOM. ^ YOUNG GUY I enters.
YOUNG GUY I ^ Are you waiting for a phone call?
YOUNG GUY II is sitting by a phone.
YOUNG GUY II ^ Yes.
Young Guy I exits.
The PHONE rings, YG II picks it up.
VOICE ON PHONE^ Are you waiting for someone to arrive?
YOUNG GUY II ^ Yes.
Repeat infinity times.
FADE TO BLACK.
This deliberately non-dramatic vignette is composed of eight separate cuts, delivered (on purpose) without any feeling and accompanied by an ultra-minimalist music cue. And the entire scene is repeated, again and again and again…..
“The Infernal Loop” is just that. It’s a loop with no official running time, though my copy had nine minutes worth of repetition. It’s also completely infernal. There’s probably a circle in Dante’s hell where Jack Valenti, evil film critic David Sheehan and Joe Esterhaus will be forced to watch this unendingly, eating very salty popcorn while waiting for sodas that never arrive.
It’s hard to know just what to know what to make of “The Infernal Loop.” It’s described as a “film installation,” but does that mean it’s intended as some kind of trancey backdrop for raves, museums or gallery openings? Or are we supposed to get really stoned and giggle at it? Probably all of the above. The website (which, appropriately, is almost impossible to access and consists of annoying pop-up-like pages) calls it a “film installation,” but doesn’t really say much else, except that Black destroyed the only print of his previous film, a three-hour work called “Rodeo Time,” “in a fit of megalomania.”
I’ll admit that there is an odd hypnotic quality to something that not only makes no effort to be interesting, but tries like hell to be as boring as possible. I might not enjoy the experience; I might even hate it. Yet, trying to say that something this deliberately unwatchable is “bad” in any normal sense of the world is beyond futile.
And they say Adam Sandler movies are review-proof!
Posted on May 7, 2002 in Reviews by Bob Westal
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- IN THE LOOP
- WAITING FOR THE MAN
- LOCATIONS OF THE M/OTHERSHIP: BLACK WOMEN AS FUGITIVE ARCHETYPE OF RESISTANCE
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