Seeking a friend for the end of the world
DIRECTED BY A.T. WHITE
WRITTEN BY A.T. WHITE
It would appear that the arrival of Lovecraft's elder gods can be signaled by the utter decimation of the fabric of reality; A.T. White's Starfish then, was a total mind-bender and exhausting exercise in the abstract.
A unique, intimate and honest portrayal of a girl grieving for the loss of her best friend. That just happens to take place on the day the world ends as we know it.
Perceptionis distorted, and memories are as dangerous as the monsters which lurk about. We're taken on an emotionally exhausting cinematic journey that's one part introspection and another transcendental meditation. It's a trying affair that demands its protagonist (Virginia Gardner as Aubrey) come face-to-soul in hopes of reconciling past sins, and present trauma. Her spirit guide in the new world, deceased friend Grace, works as a sort of ethereal Jiminy Cricket, providing motivational clues in the form of musical cassette tapes, each coded to trigger the events needed for Aubrey to move forward and ultimately reach closure.
Somber as all hell, there's no denying that, but damn it if Satrfish wasn't a totally mesmorizing experience. Very rarely does the film accelerate it's pulse—instead, you're effectively kept in a limbo state of consciousness, which works to compound it's emotional atmospheric effects not unlike combining two compunds into something more potent. For me personally, this was the cinematic equivalent of a lucid dream.
So if the idea of a dreamy, existentially moody character study, framed with ambiguity and set against the oppressive backdrop of a cosmic-horror apocalypse sounds like a good time (or a perfect bad time), Starfish is likely going to resonate well with you. For everyone else, consider it. This being a human film as such that it quirkily and patiently explores the human condition, your bound to find something here of value, especially if you're up to the challenge of interpretation. And if not, there are much worse ways to spend watching the world end, many of which not nearly this good looking.
See you on the other side of Cthulu!