SF IndieFest 2013
By Don Simpson | February 13, 2013
Director: Gregory Hatanaka
Writers: Gregory Hatanaka, Tony T.L. Young, Rich Mallery
Starring: James Duval, Dominique Swain, Kayden Kross, Pollyanna McIntosh, Noah Hathaway, Walter Koenig, Richard Riehle, Sal Landi, Olivia Barash, Nicole D’Angelo, Stanley B. Herman, Elana Krausz, Barry O’Rourke, Paula LaBaredas
Writer-director Gregory Hatanaka’s Blue Dream is a very strange film. It is one of those films that every five minutes or so, I would take a double-take, press the pause button and think to myself “wait, what did I miss?” After a while, though, I acclimated to the fact that Blue Dream exists purely in the unreliable, drug-riddled mind of the protagonist, Robert Harmon (James Duval). From that point on, the pressure was off to try to “get” Blue Dream, instead I just settled in [with a vaporizer] for the wild and crazy ride.
From what I can hobble together from the narrative, Robert lives the high stress lifestyle of a newspaper reporter. Whenever he is not at his desk cranking out content like a robot on — well — crank, Robert tries to live life to its fullest with a steady diet of drugs, booze and women. Amanda (Pollyanna McIntosh) is Robert’s domineering supervisor-with-benefits and Ted (Richard Riehle) is the old school rag’s whiskey-and-coffee editor-in-chief.
Poof (!) and all of that is in the rear-view mirror… The newspaper is taken over by an evil capitalist tycoon (Walter Koenig) whose obliquely coded speech shrouds the truth that he knows absolutely nothing about publishing. Robert’s workload is turned even more topsy-turvy when the even faster-paced world of electronic media crashes into town. Trying to find a place for himself in this modern world, Robert latches onto a whip-smart intern who is developing a mapping software that purportedly can predict murder locations. All the while, Robert plows [through] women like they are going out of style.
Blue Dream would probably be best pitched as Robert Altman’s The Player, but rather than being about a protagonist who is driven insane by a screenwriting career that has been reduced to ridiculously concise pitches (such as this one), Robert is driven insane by a publishing career that has been reduced to the unfiltered regurgitation of opinions on the internet via blogging and social media. Like most of us ancient relics who miss the glory days of print journalism, Robert clouds his sorrows — and, thus, his reality — in the sweet haze of mary jane. Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend…