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Fractals (2021)

A filmmaker, Artie (Tim Halvorsen) wanders the city capturing footage of just about whatever he can find. While on his journey he finds a series of clues that seem to be preparing him to join a strange, and weirdly powerful corporation. Furthermore, as Artie works through the clues and finds new footage, there seems to be something going on with a hole in the wall–is it alive? Fractals shows Artie’s life right now as being insane, but that insanity may be exactly what he needs.

Halvorsen is unassuming and (in the best way) a little dorky. I’m not sure there’s a better way to describe the aesthetic of Fractals’ lead, but this allows him to fit that role perfectly. His unique facial expressions and reserved demeanor allow him to often appear out of place in this bigger-than-expected world; and that’s exactly what needs to be done in order for his character to succeed.

Writer Eric Norcross discusses, in depth, the purpose of education. I’ve been in education for, well, my entire life. I’ve either been a student, a teacher’s aide, or a teacher myself, and I’ve come to find that there are many flaws in the grand scheme of the education system. It’s sometimes difficult to express what exactly needs to be changed, and I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard a more thorough or appropriate response to both what is wrong with or what needs to be changed about education as a whole. Norcross dives deeper, even beyond just education and discusses the shortcomings of the hierarchy of life in general. Seeing others obtain jobs that they aren’t qualified for, while those who have worked their tails off struggle to find sustainability is frustrating–and much like Fractals’ take on education, it reveals that the system is flawed.

It’s things like the aforementioned honesty that make Fractals so entertaining. Norcross and co. don’t care what the world thinks about Fractals as it appears the primary goal of the film, beyond entertaining, is to educate. The existential nature of all that is done throughout the film is inviting, invigorating, and full of life. The film begs viewers to look both introspectively and retrospectively, analyzing all that they both know and don’t know.

I genuinely appreciate the meta approach taken throughout Fractals. As Artie analyzes his craft, he expresses that the lack of perfection is reality and it better reflects the truth of the subject. Norcross creates a new type of bond here with his viewers, as he allows his viewers to understand that any shortcomings that may exist in Fractals are actually a good thing. Through the difficulties of filmmaking there will inevitably be things that fall through the cracks, fail to live up to expectations, or leave viewers unhappy, and as those discrepancies play out, viewers now know that these things are alright. With this meta approach I’m able to, better than during nearly any other film, accept whatever flaws may arise–because that’s art–and Norcross ensures that viewers know this.

Existentialism is the lifeblood of Fractals, and it flows through the film’s veins–propelling the story forward, but, even better, giving the film purpose. From the acting to the narrative itself Fractals possesses all the qualities of a great film. However, what Norcross and his crew do better than anything else is set Fractals up for cinematic acceptance and success.

Written & Directed by Eric Norcross.

Starring Tim Halvorsen, Avis Zane, Lana Ayrpetyants, Elena Gaverdovkaya, Sean Mannix, Lisa Locasio, Sergio Myers, Leo Danzig, etc.


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