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Short Film LIGHTNINGFACE Hits Oscar Isaac in the Face with Lightning

Short Film LIGHTNINGFACE Hits Oscar Isaac in the Face with Lightning

On Saturday, Basil Stitt (Oscar Isaac) is relatively normal. Then he gets hit in the face by a lightning bolt that appears cued up especially for him. He loses his mind pretty quickly after that.

After teasing with a trailer over a year ago, and after swinging around the festival circuit, Lightningface is finally here. The short film gives Isaac a lot of room to run artistically, even as it takes place entirely in the confines of an apartment. Also in infinite space. But we’ll get to that. You’ll have to see for yourself.

It’s hard to pin down the best aspect of this short. The light saturation in the apartment offering up a warm orange glow against the darkness. The bizarre superhero origin story with sinister, dark comic undertones. The full scope of what writer/director Brian Petsos is able to do inside the limitations.

Even more than all of that, the gigantic sandbox of actorly things they gave Isaac to do is astoundingly fun. You can see why he’d sign up for a role like this, with its improv class-full of emotional exercises to dance through. I’ll bet the most fun was stabbing the desk in manic glee. The least fun? Eating a single M&M. Which is impossible.

Isaac worked with Petsos before on the delightfully villainous Ticky Tacky, and you can feel the same DNA at play here. Lightningface has the same flair as High-Rise, using the drive toward insanity and insularity to say something either deeply meaningful or dismissively silly, or both.

Did everyone get hit by their own bolt of lightning and deal with it in their own way? The presence of Pizza Man’s (Tim Rock) eye injury suggests as much, but maybe we aren’t meant to get lost in plot possibilities like that. Maybe we’re supposed to let Isaac’s screaming wash over us until we accept our own place in the universe.

What do you say?

Image: A Saboteur

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