As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I work in the film industry. I’ve worked all over a film crew, and have gotten my hands dirty on all kinds of sets. As COVID-19 hit, I was prepping for one of the bigger gigs I’d gotten in a while, and happily looking forward to another hectic, exhausting few weeks of filming. Then, everything changed. We went on lockdown in Los Angeles (sorry, “Safer at Home orders”…) the day we were supposed to begin filming. Since that very moment, as we’ve all watched the world crumble around us, I’ve watched the likelihood of the return of my industry crumble with it. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you’re at least interested in if not involved in the business of film, so I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you how impossible it feels to make a movie with our “new normal”. Unions and production companies are touting projected business plans which seem totally unrealistic and intangible. People are jumping ship left and right. How do you have a film crew in a set and maintain social distancing? What happens to scenes of intimacy? How do we possibly keep everyone safe?

THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY shows us that film production is still possible in a COVID and post-COVID world. It seems impossible, but it’s true. THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY features fifteen short films, made utilizing what equipment filmmakers had in their homes, mid quarantine. The results of a contest held by Fantaspoa film festival, THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY highlights our truest fears and our wildest fantasies about quarantine and the pandemic. Endless Quarantine, the first of the fifteen films, highlights what would happen if the virus spread in ways we aren’t prepared for, and as a planet we were unable to flatten the curve and find solutions until it was far too late. Several of the films center on the complete panic and destruction surrounding someone breaking quarantine. Pet food, toilet paper, lots and lots of video chats… these are all crucial parts of the films that make up THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY.

A remarkable thing this film taught me is what filmmakers can do with quite literally the bare minimum. Visual effects. Self-scoring their own films. Films shot entirely over Zoom utilizing screen recordings. Casting of family members quarantining with the filmmakers. Utilizing their own homes as sets. The genius ingenuity of each filmmaker shines, and shows me that there just may be hope for the future of film, even if it looks a little different for a while

In a strange way, I found comfort watching THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY. It made me feel so much less alone with the myriad emotions quarantine has caused – anger, fear, grief, depression, isolation, anxiety, paranoia… every film has aspects and flashes of these feelings. As isolated as we all are right now, there is a deep truth, as cliche as it is, that we are all in this together. We may not all be sharing the exact same experience, but our hearts are experiencing similar pain and heartache as we navigate the impossibilities in front of us. THE PANDEMIC ANTHOLOGY is a time capsule, and years from now should be required viewing as we educate about the last global pandemic (finger’s crossed).

9/10 stars

 

Subferatu
RATING: UR
Runtime: 1 Hr. 28 Mins.
Directed By:
Patrick Penta
Written By:
Patrick Penta