Methinks we are in for a bit of a discordian dalliance as the legions are being rallied for the screening of Spencer McCall’s The Institute on Thursday, Oct. 11th at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael… (and what of the Mill Valley screening at the CinéArts@Sequoia on the 14th ?)
What mischief Octavio has in the works, we dare not speculate!
To the dark horses with the spirit to look up and see, a recondite family awaits.” With this mystical promise—or perhaps sinister threat—that begins the gleefully unclassifiable The Institute, viewers are invited to enter a strange alternate-reality game in which the rules keep changing and the players cannot be trusted. Ostensibly an investigation into the Jejune Institute, a decades-old San Francisco–based underground organization dedicated to socio-reengineering and the deliberately hazy concept of divine nonchalance, this ingenious whatsit is at once a wonderfully strange mystery yarn, a satire of Werner Erhard–era self-actualization movements and a celebration of only-in-NorCal counterculture mania. In his feature debut, Bay Area filmmaker Spencer McCall blends fact and fiction, incorporating found footage, comic-strip panels, clever motion graphics and a dizzily dislocating sense of straight-faced obfuscation within his fascinating exposé. Adventurous viewers will delight in this Pynchonesque fantasia on secret gaming subsectors, human force fields, rainbow-haired improvisationalists and utopian dreamers (real people or actors, you decide).