Sec­ond Sight Video, £19.99 (Blu-ray), £12.99 (DVD)

Fortean Times - - Reviews / Films -

In the Fifties and Six­ties, the path­way into film di­rect­ing was tele­vi­sion; in the 1970s it was com­mer­cials and by the 1980s mu­sic videos, for this was the age of MTV. One of the most suc­cess­ful di­rec­tors of these lit­tle mar­vels was Steve Bar­ron, the man be­hind A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ and ‘Money for Noth­ing’ by Dire Straits, among oth­ers. The in­evitable move into the­atri­cal fea­tures fol­lowed swiftly and Bar­ron’s first ef­fort was this 1984 rom-com. Lenny Von Dohlen stars as a nerdy ar­chi­tect who buys an elab­o­rate home com­puter sys­tem to or­gan­ise his mud­dled life. Some­how, the PC de­vel­ops a life of its own and starts to take over Miles’s, to the ex­tent that it mus­cles in on his bur­geon­ing ro­mance with cel­list Made­line (Vir­ginia Mad­sen) who lives up­stairs. As you might ex­pect from a di­rec­tor of pop videos, it’s all about the sur­face vi­su­als; the rest is flimsy, shal­low and slight. The most in­ter­est­ing as­pect is the film’s em­pha­sis on fear of tech­nol­ogy and the way it has be­gun to con­trol hu­man life. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s an idea that is never re­ally de­vel­oped af­ter the first 10 min­utes, leav­ing us with a fur­ther 80 min­utes of va­pid light en­ter­tain­ment. By far the best thing here is the sub­lime theme song by Gior­gio Moroder and Phil Oakey. Martin Par­sons

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