i blame society

★★★★

director: gillian horvat (debut)

starring: gillian horvat, keith poulson, chase williamson and lucas kavner

 

REVIEWER: nick tonkin

A struggling filmmaker realizes that the skill set to make a movie is the same to commit the perfect murder.

I Blame Society was directed by Gillian Wallace Horvat and was both written by and stars Gillian and Chase Williams in their titular roles. It shows the journey Gillian undertakes to bring her passion project to life: a documentary about why she once received a compliment that she would make a good murderer. Presented in an awkward low budget documentary style, with go-pro footage of conversations and moments of endearing super rough cinematography (who would have thought a wheelchair would make an acceptable dolly), which serves to lend I Blame Society a kind perfect awkward surrealism.

 

The film opens with an old interview between Gillian and her friend Chase, an important conversation as it serves two purposes: setting in motion the slow turn of events that lead to the present day of the film, and to show that Gillian displays behaviours that could certainly raise red flags. Snap to present day, and Gillian is reeling from being fired by her agent after the script she laboured over was deemed impossible to sell. From this point on the film portrays Gillian escalating in antisocial behaviour rapidly, with her grip on societal norms and tenets declining at the same rate. 

 

The film has a clever manner in which it presents the mental gymnastics she must have to go through initially, in order to justify the behaviours she undertakes for the sake of her film. In a conversation with her boyfriend, he asks her to state explicitly that no film project is worth harming herself or others for, likely an attempt to reassure himself that she is still on the same planet as he is. She replies that as she is trying to make something that has meaning, she would do anything to see it through. Needless to say he was a bit perturbed. But this also reveals the cracks in the ostensible reason for her downward spiral - making a film about how to murder, was just an excuse to herself to actually do it. Now she knows that about herself, she revels in it.

 

I Blame Society is an entertaining and shocking look at one woman’s descent into chaos. The rough unfinished documentary presentation, combined with the deadpan matter-of-factness in which Gillian explains her behaviours to the camera, explores cleverly her journey to becoming a crazed killer, free from the constraints of society.

I Blame Society is an entertaining and shocking look at one woman’s descent into chaos.

★★★★

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