The Playlist

Interview: Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr., Navigate Tech-Dating & Obsession In 'The Heart Machine'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 13, 2014 4:46 PM
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Part of the pleasure of attending an established film festival like South By Southwest is the caliber of emerging talent it attracts: when you’re seeing a new director’s feature debut, you can rest (reasonably) assured that the cream of the submissions pile has risen to the top. Such is the case with Zachary Wigon’s first film, “The Heart Machine.” Starring John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom” and last year’s SXSW breakout, “Short Term 12”) and Kate Lyn Sheil (an indie darling who recently appeared in season two of “House of Cards”), the film explores the technological implications of the current dating climate, where sex-with-no-strings is available at the touch of an app, yet intimacy can be kept safely at bay via one’s computer screen.

SXSW Review: ‘The Heart Machine’ Starring Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr.

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 8, 2014 9:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As more tools, apps, devices and iProducts emerge to ease the struggles of modern existence, the manifestations of each invention come with unforeseen consequences. And as such, as the digital age progresses, the complexities of intimacy, relationships and sex are increased. While the stigma of online dating has largely vanished, the prevalence of hook-up driven culture via apps like Blendr, Grindr and such reveal that, as technology evolves, options we didn’t even realize we wanted become available. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? New sexual possibilities could lie at the click of a button, and disconnecting anxieties will appear as the endlessly changing terrain continues to shift. And so, “The Heart Machine,” written and directed by filmmaker Zachary Wigon, explores these concepts while examining the byproduct of the distance, estrangement and alienation these applications for connection produce.

Venice Review: Ti West's 'The Sacrament,' Starring AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg & Amy Seimetz

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 2, 2013 3:51 PM
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Thirty-three years on from "Cannibal Holocaust" and fourteen from "The Blair Witch Project," found-footage horror is still going strong. It's no surprise really: they're cheap to make, consistently popular and almost always hugely profitable. But even with the "Paranormal Activity" and "V/H/S" franchises riding high, we do sometimes wonder how much more juice the genre has in it — it feels like a long time since we saw anything genuinely fresh in the form and this is particularly dispiriting given the amount of cheap knock-offs that are appearing over time.

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