If the key moments of the 2016 election and events leading to present day were cut conveniently into a highlight reel it could quite possibly be the greatest "based on real events" horror movie ever made. Kasra Farahani most likely agrees. The director's latest film Tilt takes psychological horror and injects a healthy dose of 2016/2017 political maliase through its veins. Needless to say, it's not the best cure for post Trump depression.
Regardless of the intensely negative view of our current political climate, Farahani knows precisely how to stage the mental deterioration of a man who's anxieties have completely taken the wheel. The subject of the mental instability is documentary filmmaker, Joe (Joeseph Cross), hard at work on his latest doc while he and his wife are expecting their first child. The pressure of getting a real job, the impending birth and a lack of creative success start to weigh heavily on Joe's psyche and his behavior becomes increasingly dangerous.
Farahani ensures there's no way you can't imagine 2016 political themes while watching Tilt. Joe is constantly watching clips of Trump speaking during his campaign and his newest film is essentially about the illusion of "The American Dream." Joe is the type of character that wouldn't just be at home at a AA meeting for conspiracy theorists, he'd be the one leading the conversations. Still, there a part of the character that is clinging to his rational humanity and responsibility to his wife and unborn child--these are the only glimpses that carry us an audience through his journey.
The dread that's lingering like a rain cloud over Joe gets darker and darker. It becomes impossible to imagine a happy ending for this story and Farahani doesn't settle for a neat and calm period at the end of a sad story, but an elipses of despair.
The title Tilt, comes from our main character's minimally successful previous film of the same name--highlighting the idea of pinball machines being a machine of controlled chaos and not a game of chance. The finale is kicked off by a deleted scene (unclear if it was a clip meant for the doc itself) in which the ultimate tragedy of Joe's inability to control the chaos within himself is hinted at. Tilt darkly conveys a post Trump breakdown that is as effective as it is heavy handed.
Screened as part of the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival