Movie Review : Your Blind Spot (2015)
Not only it is an understatement, but it became cliché over the years to discuss the influence of Mario Puzo's seminal novel The Godfather over contemporary crime fiction. The book was a reaction to profound societal changes in the 1960s, where men chose their ancestral code of honor over the rigidifying rules of post-WWII America. Films like Paul von Stoetzel's short Your Blind Spot are a reaction to that reaction Puzo had in the sixties. The romance of the Coza Nostra is over. von Stoetzel and screenwriter Frank Wheeler Jr. welcome you to the post-Godfather era, where every choice you make lead to destruction. Yours or someone else's.
Your Blind Spot is the story of a young, nameless man called "Pup" by his colleagues (Ethan Bjelland), who's going through an important day at work. He is being promoted by the crime family he's working for, but it's not clear what his position was and what his new role will be. What's clear is that he's need to kill someone before the day is over. Who does he have to kill? Why was "Pup" promoted? What the fuck happened with the Hondurians the week before? These are questions Your Blind Spot answers gradually, ratcheting tension with every scene and leading to a spectacular and satisfying climax. Not bad for an eighteen minutes movie.
The coolest thing about Your Blind Spot is the several parallels it draws between corporate culture and gangsterism. Everyone in the movie except for Mikey (Matthew Kelly) is wearing a suit, they use terms like "promotion" and "management" to describe "Pup's" professional situation, he's conveyed to a performance review by his boss in a delightfully ambiguous warehouse, etc. The gangsters of Your Blind Spot have went legit like Michael Corleone once dreamed of, or at least forged a legit facade for their activities, yet it only serves to muddle the ethical boundaries of what they do. "Pup" is portrayed like a millenial working stiff by Paul von Stoetzel and Frank Wheeler Jr. and the movie explores the collapsing boundaries between his personal and professional life, which is a sneaky-important problem millenials are facing. And Your Blind Spot is a brilliant allegory for it.
There are probably limited opportunities for you to watch Your Blind Spot, but don't hesitate if you see it appear in a festival or a short film evening lineup. Go see it. Not only it's a pretty smart movie about the double-edged nature of professional ambition, but it also confronts the outlaw romance popularized by works such as The Godfather and ushers new ideas. There's not a complacent bone in Your Blind Spot. Is it lean, bleak and rejects the conventions of its genre. For screenings information, contact Paul von Stoetzel's production company Killing Joke Films on Facebook. Not sure if the film is still screening, but if you guys ask for it enough, I'm sure Paul can organize something. Anyway, great short film. If this is the future of crime fiction, there's hope.