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Nines, The

Entry updated 2 February 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (2007). Destination Films/Jinks-Cohen Company. Written and directed by John August. Cast includes Hope Davis, Elle Fanning, Melissa McCarthy, Ryan Reynolds and Octavia Spencer. 100 minutes. Colour.

Perturbations in reality intrude on an actor, a television showrunner, and a Videogame auteur (all Reynolds), whose worlds interlock without overlapping; all three Identities are revealed as Avatars of a Nine, a trans-Dimensional being who has become addicted to and trapped in the world of his own creation – our universe – from which Godgame his fellow Nines seek to rescue him by an intervention.

Shot largely in his own house, this debut directorial feature from Tim Burton's regular screenwriter draws on autobiographical experiences – August's slow-motion breakdown during his unhappy time showrunning the short-lived television series DC (2000), and a four-month addiction to the MMORPG World of Warcraft – for an allegorical study of the dissociative solipsism of the Hollywood creative whose imaginary worlds become his primary reality. McCarthy and Davis also play triple roles, as respectively a recurrent human enabler of the hero's addiction and a sinister Nine working against her. A small film in a traditionally expensive subgenre, it was barely released to cinemas and drew little notice at the time, but is a striking application of the preoccupations of the Metaphysical sf Cinema of its decade to the derangements and delusions of Hollywood itself, with some starkly personal elements and an unsettling, perhaps not fully intended, schizoid apotheosis of the writer as hero and demiurge. [NL]


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