A review of Interact Theatre Company’s “Faultless” short film.
Screenplay by Catherine Butterfield
Produced and drected by Barry Heins
Score my Michael Skloff
The Interact Theatre Company have been a major force in Los Angeles theatre for more than 30 years. Their productions have appeared on stages in the Valley, Downtown and the Westside, but they began in a little theatre in North Hollywood…so I thinks it’s okay to consider them home-grown talent!
Since they, like all of us, have been forced to adapt during the seemingly endless lockdowns, it can be hardly surprising considering the prodigious talent at their disposal that Interact’s foray into short film with “Faultless” is truly excellent.
“Faultless,” a 12-minute short film, is clever, inventive and extremely relevant take on our current preponderance, voluntary or not, for doing absolutely everything online.
The basic premise is this, a young woman seeks therapy from “Therapy Right Now,” a web-based therapy portal. What begins as an above average therapy session takes a bit of a turn, and the nimble story unfolds. Algorithms rule our world, but we are all rightly still fihting against it. “Faultless” is a ‘play’ on that and on our very human assumptions that all is what it appears to be at face value. A very complex maneuver for our brains, when all we can see is what is presented to us on our screens.
To tell you more about the plot would spoil the film, so I’ll stop right there.
Suffice it to say that you may be very surprised at the twists and turns, and more than a little creeped out. I know I was!
This is such a difficult way to make a film. As a filmmaker myself I have dipped my toe into what can and can’t be done this year. The costs, the difficulties, the motivation, the risks and if the itch to create out weighs the obvious and the not so obvious obstacles. But the innovative folks at Interact Theatre Company really seem to have cracked it. They give to us a very purposeful story, told with humour and suspense and more than a little nod to Asimov and Philip K Dick.
All the actors are excellent of course and totally believable. Which presents a particular problem in and of itself really. If humans can be made to seem so completely authentic and trustworthy in the confines of the digital realm, and in a setting as intimate and visceral as a therapist and her patient, then bloody hell, are we all already completely lost?
Either way, it’s a wonderful piece beautifully executed. Perhaps it should be called ‘flawless’ in fact!!
I loved it, and am grateful that they gifted us something so special in this long, long dark. Bravo!!!
You can view Interact Theatre Company’s “Flawless” short film for free using the above links, and find out more about this amazing theatre company on their website here: https://www.interactla.org
Starring: Rob Brownstein, Olivia Castanho, Stephanie Erb and Arthur Hanket.
Sound design and re-recording mix by Eric Huezo.
Special visual effects, editing, digital media design by Brian Christopher Russell.