Factory 25: Our Review of ‘For The Plasma’ on OVID

Posted in OVID.tv by - February 02, 2024
Factory 25: Our Review of ‘For The Plasma’ on OVID

Helen (Rosalie Lowe) works in Maine as, well, I’ll explain her mysterious job as best as I can in a bit, but for now, I’ll introduce her old college friend Charlie (Anabelle LeMieux), whom she recruits as a coworker. As part of the recruitment, she takes Charlie on a tour of their house and grounds. It feels like a dream job, the kind that Charlie takes to get away from an ex-partner. The job, by the way, involves watching cameras and hiking within forests to prevent fires but there’s more. Helen explains to Charlie that the forests’ growth patterns, etc., dictate trends within the current stock market. They share their observations with each other, but the job’s isolating nature may threaten to drive them apart.

It’s easy to find out what this film is about even if there’s a lot more here that eludes. There are a few things in films that are important, but most specifically, it should answer both ‘what’ and ‘how’. Most of Charlie and Helen’s scenes have their bizarre discussions on normal settings, eventually exposing the little things that become bigger than they should be. I may be the first person to compare this film to Persona but here they’re both talking. And then there’s that scene where the discuss their observations while throwing a football around, badly. This is an obvious reference to The Room and I never imagined a mumblecore film like Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s For the Plasma to wink this hard.

It’s respectable to see For the Plasma as ad hoc mood cinema and how its changes its vibes with subtlety. Charlie makes a transformation from “it’s a job I guess” to visible exasperation in doing pointless work. But she dresses her in hipster clothing, walking around an environment that reinforces the film’s artificiality. Part of her job is hiking to where the cameras are, and those areas have frames on them, because get it? While walking towards one of those frames, she shrugs, and I increasingly share her frustration. These art direction and synth-y score do its best to pull the film towards quirky. But it seems like quirky is the only thing this film offers, with smatterings of other elements that don’t amount to much.

For the Plasma also plants a few too many arcs only for it to not do anything with them. And the same goes for its supporting characters that exist to reinforce the film’s horror and sci-fi elements. For example, it introduces a Japanese businessman (James Mark Han) offering them a pseudo science-y job they may or may not have taken. These characters come and go. Do they somehow reflect the strains within Charlie and Helen’s friendship? I wouldn’t bet on that being the case. There are a few people who caught this film during its festival run and got what it was going for. Then there’s me who doesn’t, and it’s totally fine that this film eludes me.

For the Plasma comes soon on OVID.

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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