The Eternal Present (Otto Buj) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
It's as pretentious as the title suggests, but The Eternal Present has all kinds of charm going for it anyway.
Made in Windsor by self-styled art-school dropout Otto Buj, it's the story of a young obituary editor (Craig Gloster) who begins to suspect that he's somehow responsible for the deaths of the people whose obituaries he lays out. Is he mad? Is he a serial killer? Is that the devil luring him to an underground cavern with rambling discourses on fate? Is that a derisive snort building up in my sinuses? Maybe.
Hokey philosophizing aside, though, Buj knows how to make a low-budget feature look snappy. He shot this on black-and-white 16mm with obtrusively dubbed dialogue, but the editing is so flashy and clever, the photography so canny and Gloster's deadpan mug so fantastically camera-friendly that its cheapness just makes the film look cool, like some obscure noirish Italian thriller you might channel-surf to at 3 am. (April 23, NFB Cinema)