A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
There's a scene in "Dark Night" where a young woman sits on a curb with police lights washing over her; a tight closeup of one of her eyeballs makes it seem as if the orb is light from within by red and blue. There's also a very long lateral tracking shot in the film of a surly young man walking past a chain link fence, and the diamond pattern of the chain link strobes and flashes as he walks. There's a tight closeup of the eyes of another young man, this one with close-cropped hair, staring while the soundtrack erupts with the sound of photographers' flashbulbs going off and reporters shouting questions, then the movie cuts to a shot from behind the young man's head as he stands in a backyard staring at a house. "Dark Night" has a shot of a parking lot and an adjacent road that swivels and zooms like a Google Earth map, and long static takes of people looking at things: malls; televisions; their own images in the screens of cell phones.
"Dark Night" is a film about the 2012 Aurora massacre, by the way.
Well, not exactly.
It doesn't replicate any details leading up to the shooting itself, in which a heavily armed and deeply disturbed young man with a shock of dyed-red hair burst into a multiplex theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," set off tear gas grenades, and killed 12 people and injured 70. Rather, it is a film about the conditions that led to the massacre. Okay, it's not that either. It's a quasi-experimental drama, shot in Sarasota, Florida with a nonprofessional cast, about the culture of isolation that contributes to the culture of ... Sorry, the alienated nature of the self-image in the age of social media and ... Well, no. No, not that either.