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Zenith: movie review

Vladan Nikolic's 'Zenith' doesn't always work, but at least it has interesting ambitions, including some sort of parallel existence on interactive websites.

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In 2044, Jack (Peter Scanavino) searches for a series of videos shot 40 years earlier by his father (Jason Robards III), who left the clergy to doggedly investigate a sinister conspiracy. In trying to find out about the dad he never knew, Jack inevitably takes up the investigation himself, until the two characters seem to merge. This low-budget "retro-futuristic steampunk thriller" from filmmaker Vladan Nikolic – credited as "experiment supervisor & creator" rather than director – resembles Darren Aronofsky's debut feature, "Pi," complicated by its intercutting of two separate narrative time streams. What seem to be lapses in the continuity might be explained by the ending, except the ending itself is too ambiguous – maybe deliberately enigmatic, maybe just murky – for us to be sure. "Zenith" doesn't always work, but at least it has interesting ambitions, including some sort of parallel existence on interactive websites.

Grade: B-. (Not rated.)

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