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Footprints: Hollywood Fantasy Gone Wrong on the Steps of the Chinese Theatre

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Footprints
Written and directed by Steven Peros
Paladin
Opens April 15, Quad

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is the epicenter of Old Hollywood glamour as well as an irresistible magnet for those who desperately dream in widescreen in Footprints, a fairy tale written and directed by Steven Peros (The Cat’s Meow playwright) about a woman (Sybil Temtchine) who awakens, without her memory, on the movie palace’s celeb-imprinted front courtyard. Her amnesiac odyssey leads her to run-ins with tour guides, a homeless man, a costumed Catwoman and Supergirl who have her pose as Wonder Woman for sightseers, two Golden Age specters (Pippa Scott and H.M. Wynant), and a Scientologist—encounters that playfully speak to the driving ambition, entrancing glitz, and ingrained racial inequality of the film industry, not to mention the bleaker, generally unfulfilled yearning of its wannabes. Infused with amiable nostalgia, the unreal atmosphere of Footprints—in which the past and future both feel within reach, and the ordinary and extraordinary exist in simultaneously close and distant proximity—is more affected than alluring; its performances exhibit similar artificiality that’s compounded by nonstop underlined dialogue. Rife with classic-cinema shoutouts, the film is a cutesy, toothless variation on Mulholland Drive, one whose attempts to pay tribute to movie magic are ultimately undercut by stagey aesthetics and narrative theatricality.

 
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