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THE GIRL FROM MONDAY

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Hal Hartley refers to his latest film as a "fake science fiction," which may account for the satirical bent to this otherwise typical tale of a displaced alien in New York City's near-future. There, life is controlled by a mega-corporation whose interests are dominated by consumerism (for instance, sex drive is calculable in monetary terms). A group of dissenters -- including the protagonist Jack (Bill Sage) and his love interest, Cecile (Sabrina Lloyd) -- fight for freedom, while also tending to an extraterrestrial visitor, an entity in an adapted human form, a girl from the planet Monday. There are chases, escapes, three-ways and ponderous queries like whether it is the nature of man to be free, or self-limiting. Hartley adds dashes of 1984 and Brazil, with a smidgen of a failed Fox sci-fi series, as well as employing a somewhat distracting jerky editing style. It's highly stylized and entertaining, if not particularly original or thoughtful. (AH)

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