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GamePlan [Lynn O. C. Thompson, USA, 2017]

GamePlan is a film that very definitely represents the social and global complexities of modern day manufacturing and consumerism. It is a very important film, not just for its narrative and message about where we are as a planet, but for where we are heading, and a comment on humanity’s self-designed fate.

The duel thematic approach, employing the style of a board game with the emphasis on chance (such as ‘go back three places’), together with the deconstruction of a nation’s and a world’s economic reliance upon its manufacturing output is biting, clever and, in this instance, incredibly well edited. The late 80s electronic soundtrack only goes to support certain political stances of this period of history (particularly in the US and UK), which saw the manufacturing hub all but disappear from the landscape, and the film presents some Stone Roses-lite visual reflections of the era too.

Director Lynn O. C. Thompson weaves a tapestry of devastation that dances a fine line between fiction and reality as dualistic themes merge into one another, and her use of colour is so affecting as to heighten our anger towards man’s penchant for self-destruction. The Monopoly story structure framing the narrative is used to demonstrate the instability of trade, with one singular message underpinning the entire structure: that man is gambling with the economy for his own greed. The editing effects and palate used only serve to reinforce these ideas.

GamePlan is a politically topical short film presented very much as a cautionary tale, using traditional board games as its grounding analogy for the corporate machinations of the world’s superpowers. In its deployment of abstractions the film’s visual sense is markedly understated, but this is by no means an estimation of weakness. Indeed, it is the obfuscation of boundaries between the real and unreal wherein we find the film’s greatest powers, rendering the film a layered and complex work of art that has its finger on the pulse where political affairs are concerned.


GamePlan was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2018.


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