The flipped opening images of palm trees against an indigo night sky signal from the start that the Hollywood canvas of Aaron Katz’s compelling mystery, Gemini, will be a disorienting jungle, not a La La Land of glittering dreams.
If star-driven studio movies such as “Baby Driver,” “Atomic Blonde” and “The Disaster Artist” tended to pull the attention of media and audiences at SXSW, “Gemini” looks to be this year’s much-talked-about, indie-scaled breakout hit. It capably splits the difference between being an enigmatic art-house treatise on persona and a more straightforward mainstream-minded commercial thriller. This “Gemini” wants to have it both ways and succeeds.
With a simple-yet-effective metaphor, director Katz, presents a skewed view of Hollywood. His film, Gemini, which had its world premiere as part of the SXSW Film Festival, follows in the cinematic footsteps of great Hollywood noir like Sunset Boulevard, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Mulholland Drive.
These films function at two levels; the glitz and the gutter, the vapid veneer of filmed fiction and the harsh realities of a cutthroat business. The surface is beautiful and intoxicating, but the seedy underbelly can be deadly.
Gemini explores the ambiguities of the dynamic between female star and assistant, a subtle, sophisticated neo-noir focused on the odd co-dependent relationship between a starlet and her personal assistant – and how that dynamic is tested when one of them drops dead.
Giving off a sleepy-eyed but smart vibe that recalls Chloe Sevigny at her best, Kirke plays Jill, whose skills with organisation, mediation, damage control and conflict resolution are being put to the test by the impulsive behaviour of her boss, Heather Anderson (Zoe Kravitz), a Hollywood starlet seeking a spell from the exhausting spotlight and the all-seeing eye of social media.
And as you can gather from the exclusive image of Kravitz and Kirke (above), rich with red and blue fluorescent light, the film promises a stylistic trip into the dark. Another mark of quality assurance: One of the movie’s producers is Adele Romanski, fresh from her Best Picture Oscar triumph for Moonlight.
We were very happy to have placed the track, ‘La Vita E Colorata’ by I Campioni featured in the films soundtrack.