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Stop Motion; Jesse Atlas to Adapt Looper-like Record/Play for Focus

This than 24 hours after news broke that James Schamus got the boot, we got a glimpse at the kind of material that might define the new Focus label – and if this short to feature adaptation tells us anything it’s that cinephiles might feel just as spoiled as they did with the Brokeback Mountains commonly associated with Universal’s indie division. Having caught Jesse Atlas’ short (part of program #3 at Sundance this past January) which I liken to a Looper-esque type world, THR report that Atlas will direct, Aaron Wolfe will write and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven will produce Record/Play.

Gist: Described as tragic love story wrapped in a complex time-travel scenario. The time travel is achieved by manipulating a Walkman to transport to the source of a cassette recording.

Worth Noting: This won the Best Short (Fantasy) at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.

Do We Care?: An exceptional 11-minute short that works for its sci-fi ideas, manipulation of the form and pattern, free-flowing repetition, but might be too much of a novelty short to lengthen.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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