Monday, November 05, 2012

Falling in Love With '28 Hotel Rooms'

Months after attending this year's Sundance, it occurs to me that my two favorite films at the festival had something in common -- and not just that they both appeared in the festival's "Next" section. Compliance and 28 Hotel Rooms can both be viewed as behavioral lab experiments. In Compliance, we watch as a group of fast-food employees are manipulated by a prank caller into doing unimaginable things, and because almost the whole film is set inside the restaurant, there's a lab-rat feel to the proceedings. In a very different way, 28 Hotel Rooms works so well because of its confined locations -- in this case, a series of hotel rooms where the adulterous affair takes place over an unspecified amount of time. For whatever reason, such films can appeal to me. (I think it may have something to do with the idea of watching how human beings in a very specific location act under unusual circumstances.)

Regardless, this Friday 28 Hotel Rooms comes out in Los Angeles. I watched the film for a second time over the weekend, and I was moved by it all over again. This week's IFC Fix column is about me trying to come to terms with a movie I absolutely love, even if some of my colleagues have been rather cool to it.