Meme [noun]; an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
Director-writer-editor Sean Mannion’s first feature has taken a few notes from Elias’ Gut (cross-reference below) and also one of his stars (Sarah Schoofs’s Jennifer readily anchors the production as she morphs from contented partner to drunk extraordinaire only to become a vrai artiste, cobbling together her own VHS mashup on life in the “Information Universe”).
Jennifer’s longtime lover, Tommy (Shivantha Wijesinghe, delights the camera and is ready for more challenging roles), is a VHS addict searching in vain for hard-to-find tapes of his favourite videos. It falls to Carrie (readily alluring is Kitty Ostapowicz) to come up with a long-sought-after tape then usurp Jennifer in the boudoir to fulfill his online and offline needs…
The title video, is indeed a mashup of the human experience: is the universe nothing more than “just a complete program”, feeding yet another program after program? Or are we actually here?
The subplot of Jennifer trying to fulfill her duties as graphic designer for a heartless corporation adds a bit of spice, but not much substance. The numerous Wotan (er, hello there Wagner) Brewery ads fuel to many people drinking too much beer.
It falls to Jennifer’s best buds (Lauren Kennedy as Lesley, along with Rory Lipede playing Andrea) to harbour their friend after she’s realized that leaving Tommy is the only way forward (she’s right!).
In the actual Meme VHS, disparate commentators do their best to make sense of the world and—in many ways—try to explain why none of us are relevant, (what fun to coincidentally be reading Søren Kierkegaard’s’ Fear and Trembling at the same time!).
By journey’s end, Jennifer’s meme speaks volumes. It’s a magical, literally animated, conclusion to a film that deftly answers far more questions than it could possibly answer.
See it for yourself and come to your own conclusions! JWR