The film Look, directed by Adam Rifkin, begins with titles indicating that there are approximately 30 million surveillance cameras throughout the United States, the average American is captured as many as 200 times a day, and 4 billon hours of video are produced every week. To that Orwellian fact could be added that increasingly cellphones, dogs, and motor vehicles contain GPS chips so that their owners can be located quickly if need be. Look consists of a series of short cuts of apparent videotaped events, along with dialog, that reveal something about the lives of several persons. As such the quality of the film is not very polished, but that provides some authenticity to the visual effect. Camera locations are noted in the corners of each segment and include an ATM, a bus, a fast food window, a gym, a hospital operating room, police cameras (helicopter, interrogation room, patrol car, street), home surveillance of a babysitter, as well as apartment, campus, department store, hotel, office, and shopping mall locations. Among those caught in improper acts are a department store Lothario, a child snatcher, dirty tricks played on an insurance adjuster by coworkers, a convenience store employee’s friend, cop killers, a gay lawyer and his bisexual lover, and a bag left on a bus mistaken for a bomb that is handled by the bomb squad. But the main story line involves Sherry Van Haften (played by Spencer Redford), a high school student who engages in shoplifting, stops by the convenience store, and stalks her teacher Barry Krebbs (played by Jamie McShane). One day, he succumbs to temptation, and the encounter in the front seat of his parked car is taped in full. Although some of the previous tapes reveal how she repeatedly hounded him for sex, he is nonetheless charged with statutory rape because of her age and is sentenced to ten years in prison, where he is again under 24-hour camera surveillance. The point of the film appears to be that some of Orwell’s worst fears have come true. Although cameras facilitate recovery of the abducted child, they mostly are useful for police work and invade the privacy of many unsuspecting Americans, who have been served notice by Look to look out. MH

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