‘Creative Control’ Satirizes Tech, Sex, and Brooklyn Without Drawing Blood


This toothless, silken-looking satire takes aim at easy targets: white Williamsburg ennui, technology, yoga. Set a few eyeblinks into the future, Creative Control centers on David (Benjamin Dickinson, who directed and co-scripted with Micah Bloomberg), an advertising executive in charge of a campaign for augmented-reality glasses.

Claiming a pair — which resembles a retro-standard Warby Parker model — for himself, the adman, growing restless in his relationship with his yogi girlfriend (Nora Zehetner), uses the specs to create a sexually compliant avatar of Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen), the significant other of his philandering photographer pal Wim (Dan Gill).

Creative Control is not a film of ideas — unlike, say, Spike Jonze’s similarly themed Her, which grapples with the folly of attachment in our overly mediated lives — but rather of Brooklyn-brand signifiers. Jonze’s film includes a brief yet potent mention of Alan Watts, the Zen philosopher; Dickinson’s features Reggie Watts, the “disinformationist” playing himself in a hazily sketched cameo. “Augmenta is not Main Street — it’s Bedford Avenue,” David boasts of the company his firm is repping.

Creative Control
likewise appears too eager to extol the L-train monuments that are supposedly its quarry: The Wythe Hotel is name-dropped and checked into numerous times. The film’s monochrome palette and crisp lensing lend it a well-defined severity otherwise wholly lacking.

Creative Control
Directed by Benjamin Dickinson
Magnolia Pictures
Opens March 11, Landmark Sunshine

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 8, 2016

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