Wonderful news! Not only is Alexander Skarsgård’s movie What Maisie Knew going to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but so is his other movie, Disconnect! (Disconnect is also premiering at the Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2012). We do not have a date yet for the TIFF showing.
Just how dangerous is the internet? Beyond the tabloid scare stories, what does it mean to live more and more of our life online? Few films have offered much insight outside of science fiction, but Disconnect explores the all-too-real dangers of how we live now.
A former Marine (Alexander Skarsgård) reacts to his failing marriage by succumbing to the credit-sapping allure of online gambling, while his wife (Paula Patton) begins to confess her secrets to a stranger she’s met on a social-media site. These cyber-transgressions result in stolen savings and stolen identities, leading the couple to seek revenge on the man they presume to be responsible (Michael Nyqvist) — but is he?
In a parallel story thread, a pair of teenage pranksters play a nasty trick on an outcast classmate (Colin Ford) — an introverted goth boy with genuine musical talent — by posing on Facebook as the girl they know he likes. Mercilessly stringing him along, they push the boy to expose himself online, a humiliation that leads to an act of desperation — which drives the boy’s mother (Hope Davis) to inconsolable anguish, and his father (Jason Bateman) to uncontrollable anger. Meanwhile, a TV reporter (Andrea Riseborough) sets out to tell the story of another young man caught up in selling online sex, but is soon confronted with the impact the publicity might have on his safety.
Director Henry Alex Rubin’s previous credits include the extraordinary documentary Murderball. In this, his first fiction film, he explores real-world dilemmas through a network of gripping, cunningly intertwined narratives. Disconnect pursues a storytelling strategy similar to “we are all connected” movies such as Magnolia, Crash and Babel, but here the form uncannily echoes the film’s subject: living online truly does connect us, in ways we can’t always predict. The film’s implicit warnings are neither hysterical nor pat. Rubin simply poses difficult questions, using his carefully honed drama as a springboard for critical thought about the brave new virtual world we inhabit. With intelligence, empathy, and the aid of a first-rate cast, Rubin fashions a powerful vision of our increasingly interconnected world — and proves himself as adept with fiction as he is with non-fiction.
|Director:||Henry Alex Rubin|
|Exec. Producer:||Marc Forster, Brad Simpson, Scott Ferguson|
|Producer:||William Horberg, Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Monroe|
|Production Co.:||LD Entertainment|
|Principal Cast:||Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skårsgard, Max Thieriot, Colin Ford, Jonah Bobo, Norbert Leo Butz|
|Editor:||Lee Percy, Kevin Tent|
|Prod. Designer:||Dina Goldman|
|U.S. Distributor:||LD Entertainment|
|Int. Sales Agent:||Exclusive Media|
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