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  • J.A.

Incompleteness is truly mindbending

From the opening scene, INCOMPLETENESS shows us that the audience will be in for a mind-bending ride.

David Ash, the writer and director of this series, funded season 1 by winning the Minnesota State Arts board grant. INCOMPLETENESS is proof that this award was well deserved as Ash forges a new trail in filmmaking. Ash gives us a brilliant binge-worthy show that delves into the mystery of both metaphysics and relationships. Through exploring his characters’ different points of view and understanding, Ash offers us an editing technique that reflects the unique metanarrative for this series. INCOMPLETENESS thrives from Ash’s strong direction and exploration in storytelling. This show consists of bold choices and unconventional risks and the payoff is rewarding. In addition, Ash gets the most out of his locations through cinematographer Brennan Vance’s framing and placement of the camera. And while the sets seem simple and practical, Ash’s craft in filmmaking make them the perfect fit for this story which is a puzzle that will suck you in and leave the viewer wondering what just happened. And just when you seem to figure out how this show is going to go, there will be a nice build up to a great monologue- only to have the filmmaker later poke fun of it all, keeping the audience on its toes.

On the surface, the story covers three different couples at different stages in a relationship. The central couple revolves around Alex (Matt Bailey) and Jodi (Bethany Ford Binkley). Alex is an aspiring filmmaker who has just quit his day job as a TV editor which may have been brought on by his knowledge that he has terminal cancer and a baby on the way. Bailey successfully delivers an overanxious character on a quest for redemption, which entails two things: a successful feature film and a personable documentary for his soon-to-be son. Alex’s pregnant wife Jodi is fed up with their relationship and has been detaching herself from him as he continues to delve into his passion with ever-increasing intensity. Binkley's character is easily relatable and in a heartbreaking scene surprises us with impassioned moments of internal strife. To add more fodder to their inevitable break-up is the fact that Alex and Jodi are buried in debt.

The second couple consists of Paul (Clarence Wethern) and Kayla (Katie Willer) and are the most fun. They represent a new couple who are eccentric and comedic. Wethern is cast so well as Paul, that one might believe the actor actually possesses the metaphysical theories of his character as well as a day job consisting of genetic engineering and a hobby in screenwriting. Willer is quite believable as a barista/ aspiring songwriter and is able to take on Wethern’s quirkiness with charm, while keeping our interest going as we try to figure out where their relationship will lead.

The third couple seems to explore the truth of reality: what has been created through the filming, within the film, and what is authentic to their life. Michael (Juan Rivera Lebron) plays the character John in the 'film within the film' and along with Chelsea (Christine Weber) who plays Emily in Alex’s film, we begin to go down the never ending rabbit hole of a fantasy world- or is it a fantasy world actually grounded in reality?

Michael and Chelsea are characters who at first provide the MacGuffin to the overall story, but later intertwine neatly into the universe of the other couples in INCOMPLETENESS.

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