Essays · Movies

A Man Finds a Pyramid in His Crappy Apartment in This Short Film

By  · Published on May 22nd, 2015

Starring Shane Carruth, this short film makes a worth companion to Primer with its enigmatic delivery and the simplicity of its sci-fi premise. Everything & Everything & Everything is the story of a bored, poor young man who discovers a glowing blue pyramid in his apartment one day that produces doorknobs out of thin air. Its appearance changes his entire life when he realizes he can make money selling those doorknobs, if he can get enough help to make it profitable.

Writer/director Alberto Roldan has crafted a special film here – one that is simultaneously wide open to interpretation and grounded enough to make sense from every logical angle. It’s like an ink blot; the image is there, it’s crystal clear, but it may mean something different to you.

The simplest read is that it’s a representation of running a small business. It starts with a product that comes out of the blue (like ideas and innovation often do), it finds success and growth, and it runs into trouble when the business itself outgrows the product. At its center, Carruth’s character’s life becomes tied to the business in an inexorable way, making other joyful images of real life (kids playing in the street, music being made upstairs) almost unbearable. He had dreams, this thing helped him and got in the way, and now what is he left with?

The short film is also a strong example of crafting a time-spanning narrative with what amounts to an extended montage sequence. It essentially leaves all the blanks for us to fill – not in an ephemeral, poetic way, but in the sense that excess explanatory fat is left out. We’re left with the vital beats of the story, shaded by Carruth’s character’s response. The result is a Being John Malkovich-esque balance of straightforward plot and an absurd situation that no one laughs at.

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.