Tribeca Film Festival Review “Journey to Planet X”

Directed by: Josh Khoury and Myles Kane
Producer: Trisa Barkman
Featuring: Troy Brenier, Eric Swain
Tribeca Film Featival
Running time: 78 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Josh Koury & Myles Kane’s documentary on two friends making DIY sci-fi films in Florida has the great fortune to be debuting at Tribeca at the same time as Chris Keneally’s Side by Side (read my review here.) The latter bringing home the point that the digital revolution in filmmaking is democratizing who can get movies made while the former is a case study in exactly that.

Eric and Troy are the two men behind these films, ones that could not have existed without the advent of the consumer level video cameras as seen in Keneally’s doc. Armed with a blue screen-painted space and local talent, they churn out films under the impossibly titled Ginnungagap Filmwerks banner. Eric sees it as a fun hobby while Troy in this upcoming project’s case, is striving for something more.

The film’s central tension between the two men is Troy’s pushing on Eric to take their weekend moviemaking as seriously as he does. Such improvements include their blue screen being painted green (easier to work with on video) and Eric replacing his seven year old PC with a new iMac.

It’s an interesting documentary insofar as Troy’s ambitions for his movies to be taken more seriously does not, for better or worse, go to the extremes of say, the delusions of the men in 1999’s American Movie. Nor does the pair’s film budget pose as much of a problem. There’s one mention of Eric footing a lot of the Home Depot bills, but it’s not a make or break point of the process. The fun in watching this documentary is in Koury and Kane’s unironic, nonjudgemental approach to documenting people enjoying making something together. Despite the friends and family screening of Planet X garnering unexpected–to Troy at least–laughter, the filmmakers are pleased to bring enjoyment to any audience. At 78 minutes, it’s a nice, lightweight look into amateur movie making.

Upcoming TFF Screenings of Journey to Planet X:
Mon. 4/23 – 8:00pm, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 4
Sat. 4/28 – 1:00pm, AMC Loews Village 7-2

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