Continuing a series of “one-night only” screenings, Chattanooga’s Mise En Scenesters presents “Escape From Tomorrow” on Tuesday night at the Barking Legs Theater.
The screening is at 9 p.m. and tickets are $7.
All proceeds go to the filmmakers, who could potentially face legal issues in the coming months for shooting footage for the film inside both Disneyworld and Disneyland without authorization from the company.
According to the film’s website, “Escape From Tomorrow” tells the story of a “middle-aged American husband and father of two” who has lost his job. Instead of revealing the information to his wife and children, he instead takes them to the theme park. However, his subconscious gets the best of him and the “idyllic vacation quickly unravels into a surrealist nightmare of paranoid visions, bizarre encounters and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy teenage Parisians.”
Through the use of black and white film, the “happiest place on earth” is transformed into a terrifying, macabre place. The official poster for the film depicts Mickey Mouse’s familiar white-gloved hand dripping with blood.
“This is the one movie that people were talking about, “ he said. “It’s not a straight up horror film. The trailer doesn’t give you a sense of how arty and bizarre it is."
The surreality of the film leans more toward the wavering unease of a David Lynch film than anything typically considered horror, according to Dortch. Lynch is known for films like “Mulholland Drive,” “Blue Velvet,” “Eraserhead” and the TV drama “Twin Peaks,” all of which upturn reality into a sort of strange dream that is at the same time hilarious and horrifying.
For the film, director Randy Moore bought season tickets to the theme parks for his cast.
“Over the period of two years [the cast] went in with cell phones, and it’s just a total achievement,” Dortch said.
The legality of the film has been in question since its release, namely, what if anything Disney would have to say about it.
According to an article in The New Yorker, “Escape From Tomorrow” falls under the “fair-use” category of copyright law.
They write: “It’s important to understand that Disney does not have some kind of general intellectual-property right in Disney World itself ... Under copyright law, commentary and parody are well-established fair-use categories, and this is where the film likely falls.”
Dortch said he hopes the success of “Escape From Tomorrow” will encourage other directors to take risks with their films.
“Great indie film makers have been finding great shortcuts to get their movie made,” he said. “ If anything, I hope it inspires people to really take risks to seek their vision ... by all rights, this film could’ve been shut down. But instead they went out and did this amazing thing.”
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