“Friend of the world” is a scifi horror comedy film written and directed by Brian Patrick Butler. After his first two short films “The Phantom Hour” (2016) and “Hatred” (2015), Brian Patrick Butler returns to his favorite themes, drama, horror and human madness. The film was nominated for “Best Narrative Feature” and “Best Actor” for Nick Young at the 2020 San Diego Film Awards.
It premiered in 2020 at the Oceanside International Film Festival and is now streaming worldwide. The story follows Diane (played by Alexandra Slade), a young film maker, who after waking up alive amidst several lifeless bodies, meets Gore (played by Nick Young), an eccentric military man who lives in a bunker following a global war that has resulted in a post-apocalyptic context.
The film, composed in 5 acts and filmed in black and white, oscillates between realism and surrealism with the appearance of some metaphorical scenes. The second act illustrating the meeting between Diane and Gore is entitled “Boy meets girl” which is a possible reference to the film of French director Leos Carax, also in black and white. In ‘Friend of the world’, this use of black and white works very well and gives to the film a rather particular aspect by which we are quickly seduced.
Throughout the film, the influence of other directors can be felt. One can think in particular of Cronenberg and his way of modifying and playing with human skin and its various textures, in films like “Videodrome” (1983) or “ExistenZ” (1999). The film, carried by the good performance of its two actors Alexanda Slade and Nick Young, as well as by a careful and interesting writing and a clean photography works very well.
Gore, the character of Nick Young seems to have been written especially for him, he is really very good and brings a lot to the film. However, some viewers who are used to more mainstream films might not appreciate the surrealistic side of the film and some of the special effects/scenery, that with a bigger budget could probably be more successful.
For his debut away from short films, Brian Patrick Butler does an interesting job. However, we would like to see what he is capable of doing with a bigger budget that would allow him to reach a wider audience and to let his creativity run free.
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