Happy Here and Now

  • 90'
  • USA
  • 2002
Michael Almereyda likes to explore the strangest forms of consciousness. In doing so, he stresses the role that technology and the media play in the way we understand events. With the Internet thriller Happy Here and Now, he now goes a step further.In the near future, Amelia travels to New Orleans to look for her missing sister Muriel. She is helped by Bill, a former secret agent and computer expert. On Muriel's harddisk, he finds traces of chat sessions with a man calling himself Eddie Mars. From the moment that Amelia follows her sister's tracks online, the film splits in two. Juxtaposed with the pixelvision shot, grainy chat sessions in black & white are the colourful 35mm images that represent the real world. In this, we get to know fireman Tom (played by Almereyda's regular actor Karl Geary), who turns up in the chat sessions as Eddie. The 'real' Eddie is Tom's brother, who doesn't know his name is being used.The film is less about the missing Muriel than about the possibility of changing your identity with one press of the button and about the way that our experience of reality can change. Paradoxically enough, this is Almereyda's visually most opulent film so far in which the beauty of the images precisely seems to serve to confirm reality.
Michael Almereyda
European premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003
Keep Your Head Productions, Anthony G. Katagas, Callum Greene
Cinetic Media
Michael Almereyda