Calgary Metro 2022 Short Film Review: CORNERS, A Custom Dead End

Rory is a thorough man in a nonchalant world. In the near future, Canada, and perhaps the world, will implement a comprehensive set of guidelines for the inspection and health of corners in public buildings.

Rory takes her job seriously. Very seriously. He buries himself in corner #4 of the Cocoon furniture store with his custom gear (helmets mounted on triangles that connect to his trapezius muscles) and various measuring systems, looking for…something, while that the well-dressed showroom owner is infuriatingly breaking the fourth wall. We feel his pain, but we don’t know exactly what is going on inside. Corners.

For the remaining 10 minutes, Rory is tested himself, in his resolve to be the painstaking technician, using springs and weights and measures, while Dave, muscle up with his fancy lasers and cloud-based reports. Dave spends more time flirting with the owner and is offered the free mashed potatoes and homemade ketchup from the store, and telephones the actual inspection.

Not Rory. To be sidelined in the very task he knows best is an existential crisis. Alcohol and professional wrestling do not help his situation.

Ubiquitous character actor Michal D. Cohen (Suburb, Whiplash, Henry Danger), with his frizzy hair, bald head, and somewhat too short figure, is a goofier, less menacing Henry Gibson. In Corners he is the larger than life guardian of knowledge and secrets. Knowledge that no one seems to want.

Cohen plays Rory as a seeker, no, an oracle, of anonymous space and potential danger, where two walls meet. He once prevented a closure – in this very store, he’ll tell you – by detecting structural stress early, via his measurement of humidity and temperature, and fault lines. Do people appreciate it? Absolutely not. Do people tolerate it? Barely. Is he right in his commitment? Perhaps.

James Brylowski’s overly picky, overly intense stalemate on ego, hyper-niche expertise and professional hubris, straddles the line between Christopher Guest mockumentary and independent character study, and demands some respect. for his commitment in this regard; both the universality of people’s behavior and the strangeness as well.

For making everyone, on the surface, unsympathetic in the normal sense, but ultimately endearing in the specific nanoverse he’s trying here. In the end, you might indeed assume that there are two sides to every corner.

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