Review: In Bright Axiom
Originally published on Elements of Madness
If you spend time with kids on a regular basis, then at some point you’ve probably been asked to play a confusing game with vague rules and unclear objectives that the kids invented themselves. It might be a live-action-role-playing-game that ineffectively combines mythology from a smorgasbord of fairy tales and video games, or perhaps a board game where the rules change every five minutes depending on whether the young game-maker is in the lead. Of course, we don’t expect children to meticulously plan out alternate worlds with consistent themes, and their creativity is endearing, even if we are subjected to hours of games that make absolutely no sense. But now, imagine that the neighborhood kids made a documentary explaining a game that they invented together. They haven’t quite agreed on the rules yet, and each kid has a totally different vision for the game, yet they have decided to make a film explaining it. If you can imagine this sort of film, filled with interviews from people who all have different ideas about the same game, then you’ll know what to expect from In Bright Axiom. Directed by Spencer McCall, this ambitious documentary explores the strange and experimental Latitude Society, an artistic project that was part spiritual group and part live-action-role-playing-game. If you don’t have background knowledge about the project, however, In Bright Axiom will send you into a hole of internet research as you try to make sense of its absurd details.
"Our embodied spectator, possibly perverse in her fantasies and diverse in her experience, possesses agency...finally, she must now be held accountable for it."