Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
I don’t know much about the film The Conspiracy at this point, other than the fact that it is playing at Fantastic Fest. That implies a few things about the film that features a documentary crew that is covering the theories of one seeming conspiracy crackpot. But that “crackpots” disappears, the crew starts to think there might be more to the theories than they’d initially imagined.
While this trailer features some histrionics that are a little difficult to swallow out of context, there are also some very effective, unsettling scenes here. Writer/director Christopher MacBride seems to be using low-fi found-footage and other techniques to good effect, and as the central theorist Terrance, Alan C. Peterson looks like he’s got a juicy, fun role.
AICN has the trailer, and Todd Brown of Twitch wrote the program notes for Fantastic Fest, which I’ve edited a bit so that you don’t read too much about the film right off the bat. (Hit that link for his full note.)
When two young filmmakers select a crazed conspiracy theorist as the subject of their new work, the task seems simple enough: Befriend him, gain his trust, and let his theories speak for themselves. But things prove much more complicated than that. Despite his wild street preaching, their subject proves to be an articulate and intelligent man; one prone to seeing patterns others don’t, sure, but hardly the expected lunatic. Listen long enough and his arguments even start to make a certain sort of sense. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe, somewhere, there’s some basis to what he’s saying… And then he simply disappears. No word. No trace. Just gone.
A meticulously researched and cannily constructed bit of work, THE CONSPIRACY systematically blurs the lines between fact and fiction, deconstructing the distinction between facts and news, news and propaganda. Using one of the most persistent memes of our time – the conspiracy theory – to create a fact-based thriller, THE CONSPIRACY is more than just entertainment. It’s a sly commentary on a world in which the medium really has become the message, a world in which the most important question is not “What happened?” but “Who is telling us?”