Out 1

Out 1 ★★★★½

Is there anything else that so accurately depicts the monotony of the real world? How one minor provocation found in such monotony can propel someone or something into dissolution? Those questions sum up the experience of all 13 hours of Out 1. Much of the runtime is spent building the routines of two theatre troupes and that of Frédérique and Colin, two wandering individuals with unique ways to hustle the populace. As it progresses, there is a slow, but steady increase in intrigue. As more things get added, the routines inevitably collapse.

To put that into more detail, the two theatre troupes are never the same once they each allow a new member in. Colin receives a letter that sends him on the hunt for the Thirteen and Frédérique whose habits of stealing money lead her to some letters that reveal correspondence from the Thirteen. In the case of the theatre troupes it is outsiders usurping power that leads to the end of a revolution, a movement, or even a general sense of progress. Colin becomes a pawn, a tool for the powerful, the omnipotent even, eventually relegating himself back to his pretend state of deafness. Frédérique becomes lost in the monotony of life, searching for things with empty meaning and no direction, only to become lost in the most final sense possible. Then there is the Thirteen, whose scattering has left more questions than answers, in which paranoia leads to a complete destruction from the inside-out.

Out 1 may specifically be about coming to grips with the failure of 1968 to make real change. It has to be taken though with the failure of any movement that looks to rightfully check the system. There has never been any inevitably that progress can or will be achieved. It is the harsh reality that power is a game, always abused and fought over even amongst those within our own secret societies. It is these near omnipotent forces like political institutions, money, crime, espionage, etc. that sew the holes that will inevitably tear at the seams. As much as this is an allegory for larger political upheaval, it introduces, to an extent how one can find power in the modern day.

Since the pacing is the closest that any film (or series) comes to equaling that of reality, it is fair to say it grasps how power—which could be looked at as self-fulfillment—can be had despite the everyday minutia. It sees art and maybe more generally the humanities, as a way of expression, as a way to fulfillment, it looks to present power as achievable at an individual level via a sense of self direction. Yet it accepts the anxieties and paranoia due to the impossibility change and even comprehend the forces at hand in the world. It accepts that tedious repetitions eventually can and often times will result in self-destruction, a breakdown unsure of life and the realities in which we place ourselves.

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