MACHINE BABY **** USA 2014 Dir: Sean Richard Budde 11 mins
Pursuing the current Miss California (Allie Long) en route to her hoped-for Miss America triumph, paparazzo Sean McGill is caught and captured by her peculiarly accented manager (Christian Gray) and learns some surprising secrets of her sustained success in the beauty world: “We’ll win it as long as she keeps fuelling…”
Although it culminates in a massacre-punchline conveyed via audio-only, this offbeat, cynical satire of America’s twisted meat-market beauty contests delivers some truly arresting images and at least one splendidly skewed performance. Someone should give clearly talented writer / director Sean Richard Budde a sack full of money to develop it into an even more warped and subversive feature.
Review by Steven West