Editors Note: “Price is Right” is a running column from local film enthusiast Mr. Price. He reviews selected Strasburg Film Festival films. If he posts a negative review, then the Shenandoah Film Collaborative will respond within his reviews as to why we selected the certain film. By going about it this way, we can help ensure the reader that these are honest film reviews.
“iRony” is a short visual adaptation of the award-winning poem “Seven Billion”, written by the director of the film. The already intense subject matter of the poem, concerning the increasing dependence on technology and its impact on society, is enhanced and complemented by the stylistic visual direction of the film.
The stark artistic style of the film serves as a very appropriate backdrop to the hard-hitting messaging of the original poem. Themes of isolation and addiction, of the incessant need for validation prevalent on social media are enhanced by recurring visual elements such as the motionless, but still ticking, clock overlayed with the power icon. There is an inherent risk to the creation of a film which centers around a poem. Poetry, when done well, demands the audience’s focus to be focused very heavily on the words themselves. As a result, there can be a degree of competition between the words and the visuals, but “iRony” navigates this balance with aplomb.
Perhaps the greatest virtue of “iRony” and “Seven Billion” is the vague, uncomfortable feeling it instills in the viewer. Far from unintentional, this is the mark of a writer and director who is not afraid to present difficult questions, which may not have straightforward solutions, to the audience. When done right, as it is in this film, a piece like “iRony” can leave you thinking hard on it long after the film itself has ended.