MPB Collective

Annabeth Gish, Steve Guttenberg, Christine Elise McCarthy, Robert Romanus, Tinarie Van Wyk Loots, Kevin Rahm, David Deluise, Missi Pyle, Joy Gohring, Larry Poindexter and Jacleen Haber

Yes, there was a Mojave Phone Booth.  Unlike some other flicks which setup fake websites and the like, there was a project in California at one point to provide phone service to the entire state including very remote locations like this.  Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert near Baker, California, gateway to the Death Valley area at the crossroads of two dirt roads stood a phone booth.  Originally setup to allow communication to the outside world long before the cell phone days, it was a way for miners and workers to reach out.  But somehow in the late 90’s it ended up on a web site.  The founder of the site saw they symbol on a map for this remote site in the desert and made a field trip.  Then he started the web site and listed the phone number of the booth on the site.   Suddenly it hit big and hundreds of people were calling it daily from all over the world.   People would visit the booth and camp out, hoping that it might ring to connect to someone unknown somewhere in the world.  It became a phenomenon.

Well, the National Park people didn’t care for that one bit, especially the treks people were making to the booth.  It became riddled with bullet holes and covered in graffiti.  So they, in cooperation with Bell, removed the booth and all traces of it.  Next step was for someone to erect a tombstone for the booth to mark the spot which was also removed.   Even the phone number was permanently retired.

Well the web site got someone thinking in terms of making a film based on this unique story.   The movie features a booth in the middle of the Mojave, but isn’t really about the phone booth.  I was really anxious to see this when I learned of the booth first, and then the film, but the movie is a fairly artsy independent film that typically is long on drama and short on any excitement or real character development.   Multiple stories all loosely tied to the phone booth and therefore to each other featuring such classic characters as lesbians on the rocks because one is haunted by aliens, a guy in depression over losing his wife, a South African girl thinking on selling her body to raise money to get out of her desperate situation, and a lady who can’t seem to straighten out her love life who is being tortured by petty thieves.  They’re all finding solace in the voice of a stranger on the phone.

It’s a bizarre mishmash which, at least, I didn’t waste a spot in my queue for.  I watched it on NetFlix Instant view instead.   I’m glad I didn’t wait for this to be mailed to me, as it was not really very exciting.  If you’re into independent films with very, very slow pacing and not much going on, ok, but for me it was really hard to stay interested in any of these characters.  I didn’t really like any of them.    There is a whole big thing about the tangles of magnetic tape that blow around in the wild and what’s on it?  It’s not something that I really thought about, and I have no idea what they were trying to say.   The point is that if aliens arrived back in the time when everything was on magnetic video and audio tape, they could have gone away, and we moved everything to digital and now they’re trying to contact us via magnetic tape.  It’s a bizarre though, and really doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I’m sure the “true art snobs” are tapping their pipes on the ash tray and murmuring,  “Brilliant!,  Just Brilliant!!!”

Who cares?  I didn’t.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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Movie Review - Mojave Phone Booth (2006) {NR}, 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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