Videofilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)

When the real world and the virtual world collide — in Peru

There have been at least two great horror movies about the dangers of melding the virtual world with the real world: David Cronenberg’s 1983 Videodrome, and, more recently, Levan Gabriadze’s 2014 Unfriended. Juan Daniel F. Molero’s Videofilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) is too shaggy and muddled to be the third, but it has its moments. It follows a group of young people in Lima, Peru, with a focus on recent high school graduate Luz (the impossibly big-eyed Muki Sabogal) as she finds purpose in her life via drugs, the internet, making porn, and whatever Lima has to offer. But Videofilia is less about plot than style, using overlapping and distorted images, video noise, pixelation, and solarization — including a red-tinted sequence during a riot that evokes the worst elements of Ralph Bakshi’s Lordofthe Rings. There’s also a surprising amount of Web

1.0 iconography; the dancing baby you thought you’d forgotten about makes several appearances, as does the animated “Under Construction” GIF that graced thousands of early websites. Though it does have one of the better LSD sequences seen on film, Videofilia doesn’t add up to much, and is just begging to be remixed down into a tight video-art collage — which may even be the point.

Videofilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)
Not rated. Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.

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