Director: Mia Trachinger
Screenwriters: Mia Trachinger

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


This ambitious, prismatic second feature by Mia Trachinger deftly constructs a not-too-unfamiliar world of existential forces, tilted on its side for a better look. Set in a vacuous, contemporary Los Angeles of the imagination, the film strings together moments of high drama and gathering dread until fate’s inexorable hand makes any attempt at intervention too little, too late.

Eva is a woman desperate to get in front of her fate. One of a growing number of human mutants who lack the ability to perceive time, she is aware of the disaster that’s set to befall her and her lover, Marcus. Knowing she has seen too much, she believes (or hopes) that she can also alter her destiny. It’s a feeling most of us have experienced, even without the benefit of Eva’s heightened self-awareness. The mystery of this signature human dilemma is well rendered in the intricate plotting, where moments and causal forces shift like tectonic plates beneath the feet of the characters. The film is reminiscent of key works of the French New Wave, as if Alain Resnais were to awaken in a Vons Supermarket, unable to find his way out.

Though the story largely rescrambles causality along a linear axis, it also casts a wide, lateral gaze at human agency and the question of free will. It’s a somewhat-astringent glance at human existence, but enthrallingly portrayed in this cagey and incisive film.

— Shannon Kelley

Screening Details


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