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    Call backwarding

    "Feedback" is a low-budget but exciting technothriller about three young people and a telephone that lets you make calls into the past.


    Lenny's in a loud underground nightclub when he gets a brief and cryptic phone call from his friend Mick. "Lenny, call this number," the voice on the line says. "Tell the person this is a message from Mick. Tell him, 'Don't go,' and then hang up. Got it?"

    Written and directed by: Teo Konuralp.
    Cast: Joe Tabbanella, Melissa Pursley, Jesse Harper, Jerry Giordano.
    Lenny follows the instructions and relays the message to the person at the number. The twist? It's Mick.

    Mick A is clutching his blood-soaked T-shirt, trying to send the message before he dies; Mick B gets the message — a warning, as it happens, from six hours in the future — and doesn't go, obliterating his own doomed future and saving Mick A a bullet in the gut.

    This special way-back phone is the crux of "Feedback," a well-made, fast-paced thrill ride about going back in time — well, not going back but calling back — and messing with the future. Mick explains a lot of wonderful mumbo-jumbo about how this time-phone is possible and how it fell into his hands, and warns them about one thing: "You can't call yourself on this thing — you'd be changing your past as you're talking to yourself. It'd be like creating a loop. I can't do that — no way."

    Naturally, the first thing you'd think about is some quick way to make a fortune with a phone like this, and that's what Mick, Lenny and his girlfriend Sara set about doing at the local roulette table. But there are complications. First, right behind them are ruthless killers who want the phone back. Second, it's hard to keep everything on schedule with a phone like this, or anticipate all the ways your get-rich-quick scheme might go wrong. When it goes wrong, you can make like it never happened — as long as you're still at least barely alive and you have The Phone. But you can turn back the clock only so many times, maybe even none, before you screw up. Our trio is constantly on the edge between disaster and escape.

    Oh, and my favorite complication is that half the time our heroes are trying to call cell phones that, just as in real life, aren't working at this time.

    Like any time-twist film, "Feedback" has some unresolved plot questions — why does calling yourself set up a feedback loop but calling somebody else doesn't? If somebody reports from the future on something nobody planned to do in the present, isn't that some kind of a self-generating loop? But anyway, this kind of film always demands that you play along, and if you do you'll be rewarded with a good technothriller and an outstanding indie effort, a low-budget film with a high-budget concept and feel.

    JULY 22, 2001

    Reader comments on Feedback:

  • response to unresolved plot questions   from Brad, Jul 24, 2005

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