Man Under Table
“Guy” is writing a movie, or so he claims numerous times in bars, parties, pretty much wherever he can. Guy eventually stumbles onto a hodgepodge of filmmakers including an Indie Darling: Jill Custard, and her lackey Ben, who endlessly accosts him, until Guy finds a washed up never was: Gerald. Gerald enlists his help to write what could possibly be the dumbest movie ever.
The film opens with Ben explaining his next indie endeavor to Guy in a public bathroom. This sets the tone aptly. Guy is immediately jealous and descends into a self-loathing rabbit hole, obsessively watching videos made by successful internet star “Lyle” at his local bar, while attempting to find inspiration for the film he claims to be writing.
It becomes increasingly apparent that this isn’t quite our universe; our timeline. We follow Guy through a dystopian dreamscape world in some parallel Los Angeles. With uncanny parallels to the milieu of present day, citizens of this otherworld don facemasks to avoid the unnamed toxins swirling about in green smoke.
Continuing unceasing attempts to procrastinate, Guy googles Jill Custard’s progress, while replacing any will to write with a continuity nightmare of liquid courage. He hops around a few awkward and ramshackle simulacra of locals until he manages to run into two big shot film execs. In fitting form, he pumps up his “project” and impresses these stodgy drones.
From here we pinball from fantasy to “real-life,” until Guy is unwillingly and unknowingly cast in Jill’s latest short film about fracking and identity politics. At the same time, he stumbles into Gerald, who pushes him into writing his passion project – some unintelligible pile about a hitman, and a “cool” older dude.
Things continue to spiral out, moving further from anything potentially grounding, as Guy questions his own authenticity and indeed – his very existence. Guy meets with the execs and Gerald numerous more times, as it all melts into some fever-dream hellscape.
Directed by: Noel David Taylor
Runtime: 81 minutes