Fantasy and reality blur in Benjamin Dickinson’s Creative Control, a comic melodrama, set in near-future New York City, about a marketing exec (played by the director) assigned to try out an augmented reality product that looks like Google Glass made by Warby Parker. The drama stems from the increasingly strained relationship between the exec and his yoga instructor girlfriend (Nora Zehetner)—Creative Control casts its wry eye on yoga as well—and friendship tension between the exec and his hedonistic fashion photographer friend (Dan Gill) and the exec’s complicated feelings toward the photographer’s girlfriend (Alexia Rasmussen). Add uppers, downers, and alcohol, and stir for comic results. Although Creative Control pokes fun at our dependency on screens, it does more to skewer ambitious workaholics, making fun of the ways that modern urbanites manage their stress and emotions. Creative Control is a hard-R, with lots of swearing, brief but vivid sexual acts, and nudity—it does not skirt the details. Though its content may be gritty, its presentation is anything but. Variations on classical music, like Bach and Vivaldi are used to score the scenes; Handel’s “Sarabande,” from Barry Lyndon, complements another Kubrick reference before the film’s climax. Basically black-and-white, though occasionally color, the look of Creative Control is sensuous and arresting (Adam Newport-Berra DPed). The texture of the movie is one of its greatest assets, enveloping us in its world.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White