In the opening scene to Mark Romanek's Static, Ernie, a keyboardist, quits his band in the middle of a set and walks off stage. He ends up at a small town in the bible belt where he works at a crucifix factory assembling them. When he is fired from his job at the factory, Ernie builds a very special type of TV set in which he claims can tune in to images of Heaven. Initial frustration and confusion abounds from Earnie when no one sees anything but static on the screen. In a last ditch effort to prove that his TV can see heaven, Ernie hijacks a bus full of elderly people with the purpose of getting media attention and proving that his invention really works. Mark Romanek's Static is a stylish, offbeat genre-bender which satirizes religion, ultimately touching on human's desire to prove or disapprove god. The film also has something to say about human natures ability to corrupt and exploit religion, commonly treating it more like a business than anything else but this isn't all that fleshed out. Static is a very fun experience and Romanek injects the film with a very bright and colorful visual palette, using strong colors like oranges and blues which really aid in creating this quirky, oddball world. The film is loaded with these interesting ideas about religion and while it isn't as clear as it should be, Static is a pleasure to watch for its originality alone. Being Romanek's first film and coming before his music videos, Static is an extremely low budget feature and there are some pretty blatant snafus - most notably how the boom mic is visible too a degree in which I even began to suspect it was intentional for comedic purposes. I must mention, Bob Gunton as well, who really steals this film as Frank, an evangelist who spends his days preaching the gospel in front of the local motel and his nights planning for the apocalypse. Mark Romanek's Static is a unique, offbeat experience that showcases a filmmaker still honing his visual style.
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