Look

Look

Director: Adam Rifkin

Cast: Adam Rifkin, Jamie McShane, Spencer Redford, Hayes MacArthur

     
 

At times, it seems video surveillance is omnipresent in America, and Adam Rifkin (Underdog) spends the better part of two hours asserting just that in his fiction feature Look. This motion picture gains a historical footnote as the first U.S. mainstream movie to depict events solely through the "eyes" of surveillance videoSee more details below

Overview

At times, it seems video surveillance is omnipresent in America, and Adam Rifkin (Underdog) spends the better part of two hours asserting just that in his fiction feature Look. This motion picture gains a historical footnote as the first U.S. mainstream movie to depict events solely through the "eyes" of surveillance video cameras. The preponderance of action unfurls in San Fernando Valley offices, stores, and shopping malls, where we witness security-camera footage of character interactions and events that would likely never occur if the perpetrators knew they were being "watched." In one subplot, Marty (Ben Weber), a beleaguered insurance salesman alienated by his co-workers, makes brazenly sexual passes at his female colleagues, secretly hatching a darker plan of his own on the side. Meanwhile, in another locale -- that of a department store at the Northridge Fashion Center shopping mall -- a chauvinistic floor manager named Tony takes full-scale sexual advantage of each of his female co-workers, letting all his inhibitions fly out the window in the "secrecy" of the back room. And in the same store, two minors, Holly (Heather Hogan) and Sherri (Spencer Redford), shop for seductive apparel in a twisted plot to seduce and presumably blackmail a high-school instructor. On a darker note, Rifkin follows convenience-store employees attempting to "bring down" a cadre of serial murderers tagged as "The Candid Camera Killers," whose doings attract the attention of police cameras. Other perspectives included in the film include those of ATM cameras, robot security cameras, and all sorts of other surveillance devices of varying ingenuity, all of which catch shocking behavior and are used to follow a myriad of substories.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Look is what you would have gotten if Robert Altman had limited himself to working with surveillance cameras. That's more a comment on the film's multi-story narrative structure than its quality. But, truth be told, the quality is better than we had any right to expect from a hack like Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City), especially when he's executing an ambitious technical gimmick that might have tripped up a seasoned auteur. Look could have actually been sunk by two different questions: 1) Would filming a coherent narrative on only surveillance cameras even be possible? 2) If so, would the cameras' detachment keep the characters at arm's length, reducing our ability to sympathize with them? Rifkin solves both issues satisfactorily. He doesn't cheat on the gimmick, confining the action to mostly public spaces (and one nanny cam), yet he still advances the intertwining stories in believable ways that give the characters sufficient dimension. What's more, he saves his one zoom-in for the moment of greatest possible emotional impact. Rifkin's goal is similar to Paul Haggis' goal in Crash. Look hits on a variety of hot-button social issues -- sexual harassment, child abduction, statutory rape, terrorism -- around Los Angeles, almost entirely excluding the mundane. Yet this small production is far less bombastic and preachy than the 2005 Best Picture winner. For every mysterious package left on a bus by a Middle Eastern man, there's a convenience store clerk playing goofy music on his synthesizer while his friend slam dances into the potato chip aisle. But Rifkin's biggest success may be his cast of unknowns, who are equal to the pseudo-documentary realism required by the surveillance medium. Look would have been a lot less interesting without the central gimmick, but then again, that's what good gimmicks do -- give standard material an absorbing new twist.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/05/2009
UPC:
0013131642391
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
47,728

Special Features

A LOOK Behind the Scenes; Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Rifkin, Producers Brad Wyman and Barry Schuler and Actor Hayes MacArthur; ; Alternate & Deleted Scenes; Director Adam Rifkin: Outtakes; Trailer; TV Spot

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jamie McShane Barry Krebbs
Spencer Redford Sherri Van Haften
Hayes MacArthur Tony Gilbert
Nichelle Hines Lydia
Ben Weber Marty
Paul Schackman Ben
Chris Williams George Higgins
Jennifer Fontaine Louise
Giuseppe Andrews Willie
Miles Dougal Carl
Rhys Coiro Ace
Sebastian Feldman Ron
Kimberly Quinn Anne Krebbs
Heather Hogan Holly
Ryan Cutrona Mr. Bates
Valerie Breiman Stephanie
Tom Hodges Stuart

Technical Credits
Adam Rifkin Director,Screenwriter
3 AM Musical Direction/Supervision
Martin Apelbaum Editor
Deanna Brigidi Casting
BT Score Composer
Ron Forsythe Cinematographer
Erica Fyhrie Costumes/Costume Designer
Erica Fyrie Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Katzman Asst. Director
Donald Kushner Executive Producer
Richard Bishop Executive Producer
John Robotham Sound/Sound Designer
Barry Schuler Producer
Steve Tushar Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Weisinger Associate Producer
Brad Wyman Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Look
1. Intro/Teenage Shoplifters [4:51]
2. Storeroom Casanova/Prank [10:36]
3. Gas Station/Cop Killers [6:32]
4. Rendezvous/Lawyers [5:36]
5. Lunchroom/Raging Hormones [5:14]
6. Reel Life/Bad News [6:31]
7. Nice Guys/Reconciled [7:11]
8. Predator/Stalking [6:23]
9. Having Fun/Closing In [4:27]
10. Family Man/Sour Cream [2:35]
11. Seduction/ Harassment [7:15]
12. Rumor/One Step Behind [2:51]
13. Arrested/Knapsack [2:53]
14. Stories/Snatched [9:13]
15. Convergence [12:17]
16. End Credits [1:32]

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