Before I begin, let me just write that watermarked screeners are very useless when it comes to review submissions. If someone wants to pirate your project, a watermark will not matter all that much - the same goes for anyone looking to illegally download it. What it does do however, is interfere with a person's ability to get into the film - kind of hard to focus with a big watermark in your face all the time - especially when sometimes, it covers the onscreen text. If you absolutely must use one, especially don't put it in the middle of the screen. Moving on...
"Money, Fascism, and Some Sort of Acid" from writer, director Janek Ambros is one strange beast. It's essentially a walk through history, with a message pertaining to the current state of the world. Political? Well, umm, yes - but no matter your political beliefs, this short film is more than worth a look. This anthology of films spans time, politics, and possibly even epilepsy - as it pulses itself deeper and deeper for five short films. We start with a broker analyzing every possible scenario from bailouts to all-out crashes - as he tries to make a quick buck. Much like the industry itself, this segment is narrated at sonic speed and when combined with the visual effects, may leave some with a headache. Still pretty cool though. The segments run the spectrum, ending with "Brexit," as Ambros wraps his anthology. I'm sure you can guess what that's about, but in this case, we have Winston Churchill giving a speech as the segment plays out.
In all honesty, the content of this film will definitely appeal to some, but it's the way it's presented that earns this short film top marks. It's just so damn interesting. From the constant contrast of modern and classic, including the clips and music used, blended together with LSD inspired visual effects, "Money, Fascism, and Some Sort of Acid" is really just a cool thing to eat up a little over half-hour. I really don't know how else to describe the experience other than to say... weird... acid trip-ish. What's even better is that you don't actually have to do acid to get the effect. I don't want to say much about the actual message, because this isn't a political write up - and honestly, I simply feel people should watch the film and judge it on their own terms and conditions. No other influences attached.
Technically speaking, Janek Ambros has created something of a wonder. I can't judge the cinematography all that much because simply put, a huge chunk of this movie is old clips and reels. Most of the parts that are not, are either visually altered with crazy effects, or in black and white and meant to look the way they do. What I can comment on is the way it's all put together. Although segmented, there's an editing style that is quick and crazy, but at times also more classic, almost droning on shots. It all works well and for the clips used, I can imagine it took quite some time to source them. "Money, Fascism, and Some Sort of Acid" may be a low budget film, but it is definitely not cheap - or rushed looking.
At the end of the day? "Money, Fascism, and Some Sort of Acid" is a film that through visual dazzle, has something to say on us as a people, on our leaders, and on society as a whole. But some of the stuff presented is only noticed if you are looking for it. Perhaps that's what makes this film so damn cool. I was more than a little surprised going into this that it was as good as it was, and have a feeling many others will feel the same way. As I wrote above, a great way to spend half an hour - and worth every point on the stars I've awarded. Four out of five. Well done.