~ PREVIEW (VIEWER) RESPONSES ~
from those granted early access to the movie


I had the opportunity to view “Tracer” today for the second time with a larger screen and better sound. It was a more immersive experience this second time around; I felt my sensibilities being more drawn in to the strange, disturbing, occasionally humorous, and always artful film. For me, “Tracer” was more a film I respected for its dark numinousity and its dreamworld evocations more than necessarily ‘enjoyed' (whatever that means).

While watching the film, a dialogue was going on inside of me about some of the conventions you seem to love upsetting. When I would ‘not like’ something in the film, I would then have a reflexive thought that this ‘not liking’ might have more to do with the load of filmic expectations I was carrying; stuff about conventional narrative, characters with whom one can easily empathize, etc.   For example, the 8-Circuit Man was truly distasteful. I don’t mean that in a moral way; more just like a revulsion, like meeting a menacing clown. I suppose, I’m not a candidate for that drug C9.

At a deeper level, I didn’t know what I thought or felt about the Tracer himself. He is so ironic, or so absent of irony (genuinely not sure); in any case, I found him quite fascinating at times, but I couldn’t take him seriously (which is part of his strength?). I found those moments when he was in the C9 realm -- his ritualistic movements, dancelike -- strangely beautiful. There’s a lot of what I might call ‘cinematic paintings’ that are just beautiful, haunting, though they don’t make a lot of narrative sense to me.

I found Polly's (the younger woman) trance states to be just beautiful moments that transfixed my attention. Another Dadesque beauty was the Dead Man Subtitle Thing. That just seemed like pure Antero but also with a touch of menace. Him communicating with Leo really brought home the idea and feeling of two creatures in parallel worlds, trying to communicate. A very nice touch at the end, when his subtitle says (something like) “just keep moving, nothing to see here.” The last two songs, which I believe are Sylvi songs, are absolutely incredible. Those two songs are worth the price of admission alone! They are passionate, haunting, evocative, mysterious. I’m a big fan of Lisa Gerrard, and Sylvi’s music reminds me a bit of Lisa’s. Please tell your wife that not only is she married to a genius, she seems to be one herself!

Jacob Shefa
Palm Desert, California


Thanks so much for sending me your movie. It was fantastic! I love whatever effects you used on the visuals. It almost looks like a painting or not really real. Hard lines were blurred and it was interesting to watch. It was really funny at times and then really strange and tragic. The lead character “the tracer” was my favorite. He is so cool and charismatic and I especially loved seeing the way he looks at himself in the mirror. So unexpected and hilarious. The Corinna actress was really good too. She looks like a true medium. Her energy was pleasant to see. I watched it projected on my big tv with earbuds for optimal viewing and listening. The film kept my attention the entire time. Normally I have movie ADD. I find it hard to commit. But Tracer was awesome. Despite all of the darkness, it left me with a good feeling.

Kassandra Lennox
Novato, California


After a few days since watching Tracer, surprised to watch the  whole film in one viewing, I’m left with laughter coming from nowhere.  Recalling the bittersweetness in relationships as human beings try to figure out Love. Wondering again about life choices never really meant to take, causing unforeseen consequences. With seamless placement of music and subsequent mood created with your cinematography, the mystery of beauty emerged. Your guitar is a sound for our times working so well with Sylvi’s voice.  Her lyrics are fucking great.

Jadina Lilien
Hudson River Valley, New York


For me the story had a strong film noir pattern in it. There were father's past sins, then the eventual self-sacrifice and atonement. His fate made me somehow think of a Viking chief burial at sea with their boat. The Tracer guy, obviously the most memorable character, I saw as a liminal Trickster character. The visits to the world of beyond(?) and meetings with that "lord of the underworld", with subtitles, made me think of David Lynch, but I guess the surreal cinema today equals mostly Lynch, as his films are watched all over the world. As English is not my first language, I may have missed some important details in dialogue (whenever possible with DVDs and YouTube videos, I switch English subtitles on, not to miss anything), so probably another viewing is needed to catch more. As with other film works of yours that I already saw, it's an impressive accomplishment for a work made outside the studio system.

Erkki Rautio
Tampere, Finland


What a ride. A Dagurerreotype imagined fever dream. How fun. And mystery! And Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs (copy and pasted that!) in the form of the C9 digital salesman. An odd aside, for whatever reason, I had a slight olfactory experience when watching the film. Smelled the sea air, the mold in the crevices of the boat and apartment, the sweat from the Russian antagonist. Also, as these things go it brought me back to a slew of memories of my dear departed mother telling me in hushed tones of being utilized as a test subject for the Stanford psychic Institute. So thanks for the brief mom visit. That was nice. Loved the whole when you are dead you speak in subtitles thing. That was a pretty classic Antero dramatic construct of humour. "Move along nothing to see here" as a coda was fun. Looked up Moondog for shits and gigs and a man with that name was apparently quite the character in NYC a long time back.  Good stuff, Antero. Always a pleasure. 

Gabriel Carter
Vancouver BC Canada


Just finished watching Tracer. Loved the rich B&W cinematography, loved the soundtrack (especially Sylvi's singing toward the end on "No Return"—gorgeous). But the part that really blew me away came around the 50-minute mark, during Leo's first C-9 trip. That was genius! It truly felt otherworldly, worthy of a David Lynch film, but totally your own thing, done in your own way. Respect. Tracer seems very worthy of a sequel. I hope Leo/Moondog (improbably) returns. He was my favorite actor of the bunch (although I was really warming up to the Russian mustache guy toward the end—and the channeling girl had me convinced she was the real deal). Thanks for letting me see it. It's my new favorite film of yours.

Derek Swannson, NYC


We loved it and at no time even pressed 'pause'. Tracer is brilliant! Have lots of reflection! Black and white treatment just jumps outi contrasts rich! The themes are most fascinating and will respond to its currency and what I was struck by and will comment more. The way in which Tracer delivers is superbly told. Real. The script was excellent and the pacing was perfect. Many inside points for those inclined to explore...visual throw-ins for good measure...and voila ! The soundtrack was fitting with enough diversity to keep it very interesting...really great production. We loved it. Resonated. Related. "You have no subtitles, you are not yet dead" (i hope i got that right) But in any case...thoroughly appreciated on many levels !

Dwight Loop and Urszula Bolimowski
(soundtrack contributor) Santa Fe NM


Tracer was awesome! I really enjoyed the movie and got into it. Your films have a way of provoking emotions I don't usually feel, which I quite like. One aspect I really enjoyed which I don't see often was the small cast, and intimate interplay between them. Very good actors! The music was very well orchestrated, with a tasteful variety. Felt different from past styles.The assassin character is brilliantly done. He's a great actor, and keeps it funny throughout, despite his uh...weird, eerie vibe. You also keep the suspense building, even though there's a sense of what's going to happen at the same time. The Dream time editing does a fantastic job at conveying some sort of experience of what remote viewing and "crossing the borders" can feel like, without a bunch of fancy bells and whistles at your fingertips. I was impressed by that! 

Watching the two women stand up for their psychic abilities and put them to use was also endearing and spoke to a phenomena of the receptive feminine helping heal the damaged masculine, but also being assertive at the same time. The young female in particular had some balls on her and was not scared to stand up for her power and what was right.

The Dad's story is a grim one, and a bit difficult to watch. But, in the end there's a sort of healing between the family which is endearing and redeems him in some sort of way; at least he admits to his son what he did and takes it like a man, rather than bringing the karma onto his family. Again, the intimacy between a small cast was powerful. There was a deep commitment there which could really be felt. 

Tracer felt sort of a premonition of times to come. New drugs, new states of Consciousness, etc. C9 actually coincides with a strange meditation I had 6 months or so ago where my perception opened from the more usual energy body like activation to straight line geometries and all sorts of weird perceptions; kinda like the crossover edits you did when they take the drug. I wondered if new states of Consciousness would be accessible via magnetic changes in Earth? for example. Your film speaks to that intuition.
 

Casey Inman
Syracuse, New York


I quite enjoyed it. The theme of remote viewing hooked me in immediately as my comrade-in-arts, Jennifer, has introduced that into my particular mix. The film itself is excellent. I was quite engaged throughout. The characters were relatable to my reality and well developed and the story held my attention. The script was well written and the dialogue was natural. I would decline if offered a hit of C9. It was cool to see Portland at last. Finally I dug hearing my music on the soundtrack. I was extra pleased that "The Suspended Moment" accompanies the Tarot scene seeing as Tarot is my primary study. Thanks for letting me be part of this work. It'd been bothering me that film was one art that I hadn't ever had any part in.  

Roldo Odlor (soundtrack contributor)
Winnepeg, Canada



 



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