Earlier this year, we were given the unique opportunity to view “The Recursion Theorem,” an indie black and white film that would feel right at home in the Twilight Zone. It also claims inspiration from Asteroids (the classic video game), and Greek mythology. Yes, when I read that description I scratched my head as well. But bear with it, because it comes together well.
The story is simple enough. A man, Dan Everett, wakes up in a room, with no memory as to how he arrived there. In his exploration of his space, he discovers that he cannot escape the room, as no matter what point he exits, he reenters the room at the opposite point. With his physical movement so confined, what follows is his exploration of how he might have arrived there and what it will mean at the end.
While the special effects are impressive (especially for an indie), the stand out piece is Dan Franko’s performance as Dan and his descent into… well, if it’s not quite madness than it is at least a close cousin. At one point he has a conversation with his more reasonable half, proceeds to get drunk and devises a plan to escape that, well… that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
One thing I can say is that I wish the filmmaker had revealed a bit more as to what is going on, as all the viewer truly understands is about as much as Dan himself. There are hints strewn throughout the film as to what the possibilities are, but nothing is fully revealed leaving the viewer to guess at the nature of the room and whether Dan is justly imprisoned, cruelly being held captive, or perhaps the entire sequence of events is playing out in his head.
I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, or even Doctor Who for the themes explored… or just to people who enjoy what a single actor can accomplish in a limited space.
The Recursion Theorem is available on a pay-what-you-want at their website, has garnered a heap of well-deserved praise, and is a testament to what indie film makers can accomplish.