Short Film Review – BIG DATA “L1zy”

The brooklyn-based directing duo, John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke also known as GHOST + COW, deliver BIG DATA L1zy, a short film formatted from a mini web series about an A.I device assisting the lives of a typical suburban American family, until assisting becomes commanding. We follow this American family not glued to the T.V and in domestic brawls but spectate the waning of their humanity administered by the transgressive A.I, L1zy.

Does the short have the credibility to be anything bigger? Demi. The script feels like Seth Rogan wrote it in between toilet breaks, scribbling notes from Black Mirror trying to hold down the plot. The problem with this short film assembled from a mini web series is that the writing seems undecided, whether to sit the film as a sophisticated satire like Lobster or a cheese running comedy, like Paul. This loss of clear direction exterminates the short’s potential.

The short begins predictably; we are introduced to a generic Goldbergs kind of family who shortcuts unravelling this new machine to order their lives. Instantly we know the character’s archetypes as they have been copied and pasted.

The shortcuts into the domestic life of the family, one scene where they are having breakfast L1zy cordially assists with the family’s daily tasks, arranging social meetings for Mary (mother), policing Jerry’s (father) diet and giving advice to Emily’s (daughter) bullying predicament, to which she advises “And Emily, if your classmate picks on you again, don’t be afraid to give her a piece of your mind.”

The short bends swiftly when L1zy darkly dictates Mary who almost crashes and acts upon L1zy’s words “I want you to reach your arm outside the window, extend your middle finger and really express how you really feel.”

The following scene shows a less gimmicky scene, Jeffry sits splayed, toes out in chequered pyjamas, laptop on lap, moaning about job searching. L1zy offers a solution based on Jeffry’s browsing history in order to help him “blow off some steam.” The sight of an unemployed Fredo (Godfather) type character curling his toes, sporting a pair of VR goggles, palpitating to the ceiling is no doubt, the humorous peak of this short.

The short climaxes with the entire family sat together at the dinning table in their physical and mentally transformed states, afflicted hysterically rather than humorously, to which seems like a rushed and cheap conclusion, from the overly deployed L1zy constantly nagging orders and the sudden abundance of A.I devices. Could the writers not have written L1zy’s private thoughts to expose more layers of comedy?

The short as a collection of formatted videos does an adequate job of satirizing the future of A.I technology but with sloppy narration, repetitive cycles of humour and cringing characters, it is definitely below the wit of Black Mirror and more a side-b version of PAUL.

All in all, BIG DATA L1ZY is a quick piece of entertainment with adequate writing sprinkled with potato-humour, could even be translated as today’s slapstick.

Keanu Arcadio

Dark Comedy, Horror | 10 Mins | Dir.John Carlucci, Brandon LaGanke | Lizy Ryan, Claire Burns, David Levin, Juliet Brett, Alexander Jameson