This Location of Unknown Possibilities

Brett Josef Grubisic. Now or Never (LitDisCo, North American dist.), $19.95 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-1-926942-60-5
Frustrated with academic life, English Professor Marta Spėk takes the bold step of signing on as consultant to what begins as a historical film, shot on location in exotic Penticton, British Columbia. Armed with enthusiasm and a profound ignorance about the realities of the movie industry, Spėk leaps into a world where budgets implode, scripts leap from genre to genre overnight, where facts are cast aside in favor of drama and where reality matters less than appealing to easily bored nerds. Mentoring Spėk is the cheerfully amoral Jake Nugent, a man whose surface cynicism, driven by long experience with the film industry, is just part of his determined professionalism. The work is surprisingly warm, accepting its characters' foibles without meanness, happily cynical about the realities of the entertainment industry without being jaded or spiteful; the contrasting views of naļve Spėk and veteran Nugent grant the work greater depth. Absurd without being absurdist, the satire draws its strength from its verisimilitude, the impression that as ludicrous as parts are, none of this is impossible or indeed, particularly unlikely. Billed as a black comedy, the work proves oddly reassuring; despite unforeseen complications its characters remain determined to prevail. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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