Raindance Film Festival: Dizzy Pursuit

Dizzy Pursuit
Dizzy Pursuit
Directed by Jay Alvarez
Starring Jay Alvarez, Megan Kopp, Lorraine Bahr, Jennifer Neala Page and Andrew Kopp
Screening at Raindance October 3rd and 4th, 2018

by Alex Plant

Anyone who feels that they’ve ever made sacrifices for their art or a partner will be able to relate to the protagonists of Dizzy Pursuit. It’s a film that brutally, and often hilariously, depicts what it’s like to be a struggling creative in the 21st century, as well as what it’s like to live with a struggling creative, while you yourself are struggling to make ends meet. Also, you live in a grotty postage-stamp-sized apartment infested with roaches and bed bugs, in a building filled with unsavoury characters.

The whole film takes place entirely within the decidedly hellish one-room apartment where Adam (played by writer/director Alvarez) and Carly (Kopp) are holding auditions as they try to cast an independent film. Things get even more cosy in the apartment when a series of family members decide to visit and end up sitting in on the audition process. On top of that, add unpleasantly loud and occasionally stabby neighbours to the mix, and the aforementioned insect infestation, and the oppressive bedsit feels like it’s shrinking all the time.

Real life couple Alvarez and Kopp’s natural chemistry transposes elegantly onto the screen. It’s a realistic and relatable portrayal of an adult millennial relationship. And this is Dizzy Pursuit’s biggest strength; it’s all so relatable. Lorraine Bahr is a delight as Adam’s cooky, well-meaning-but-still-nit-picky mother, and is responsible for some of the film’s biggest laughs. Carly’s brother is played by Megan Kopp’s real life brother Andrew and again, the balance between comfortableness and awkwardness feels entirely natural, in the way only a real sibling relationship can.

Clear highlights are the audition sequences (where we get a glimpse of the bizarrely erotic script Adam has been working on) and one scene involving a homeless person and a laser pointer. It’s in these moments Alvarez has the most fun with his character, who’s lack of self awareness could come off as pretentious, but is ultimately very endearing.

Dizzy Pursuit harkens back to the grunge-cinema days of the early 90s, but cuts its own path with its representation of a modern day creative couple. It’s a vital and, most importantly, enjoyable piece of independent cinema.



 

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