Year: 2013 (U.K Release 2014)
Director: Randy Moore
Screenplay: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Annet Mahendru, Danielle Safady, Alison Lees-Taylor
Synopsis is here:
Despite suddenly appearing on Netflix awkwardly, like a Vine comedian whose has been deemed sexist, Escape from Tomorrow caused quite a stir within cinephiles due to its conception. Its director; Randy Moore uses a combination of iPhones for scripting and consumer grade DSLR cameras to create an entire feature film within Disneyland, Florida, without permission from the owners. Moore's film holds more footage of Mickey's merchandise, rides and scenery than a regular Hollywood feature would be able to legitimately pay for. When viewing the film in its entirety, you can see it's not just a gutsy move, but a logistical nightmare. The film was clearly planned in a way to conceal what Moore and his crew was actually doing. Moore himself was so worried that someone might catch what he was up to, he edited the film in South Korea.
While one could deem the shoot problematic, you can't say that all the work wasn't worth it. Moore is able to show the "happiest place on earth" in a negative view, while avoiding Disney's notorious lawyers. Fair play to the man. Yet despite this, I found Escape from Tomorrow's origins to be more interesting than the film itself. Moore's film; a deeply personal film that delves into a newly unemployed man; Jim White, descending into madness during his family's last day at Disney, is often hampered by the guerrilla tactics that allow the film to even be. The film's blurry, out of focus monochrome visuals were considered by the director not only to ease the pressure of editing, but to shape the bizarre imagery itself. This brings mixed results, as the film is a blend of artsy home video and rushed student production. Unlike the early fixtures of the mumblecore movement, the film never feels at ease visually. Yet in a ludicrous catch-22, the film could not be produced in any other way. At one point, a family argument ends with the camera fumbling gracelessly at the infamous castle merely to establish that once again, Disney is the backdrop.
Escape from Tomorrow also suffers from a flaky narrative which nods towards the surreal but lacks true cohesion. We witness Disney Princesses shown to be high class hookers to Asian businessmen, how does this connect with
I found myself comparing EFT to Clare Denis' Bastards (2013), a film which starts out as equally as oblique as this one, albeit not as surreal.
Escape from Tomorrow never really gains a sense of self, although it does well to push the "