The Icarus Line Must Die (2017) [Nonplussed Fest 2017]

In Los Angeles, being a musician is difficult.  Joe Cardamone of The Icarus Line is trying to survive as well as keep his musical dream alive through ups and downs, hardships and joys.

Written by Joe Cardamone and Michael Grodner (with the former starring and the latter directing), The Icarus Line Must Die is a gloomy, melancholy movie that tells the aforementioned story through Cardamone’s eyes and what he does and doesn’t do.  The story is a bit dark, a bit depressing which seems oddly fitting with the subject and the way the lead is portrayed.  The way the story is told is unusual and somewhat odd to watch but not entirely devoid of interest.

The cast led by Cardamone is gloomy as well, as every character is morose and unhappy while seemingly chasing dreams that are almost impossible.  Through the performances, it is made clear that some are just going through the motions while others are giving it a last ditch effort before giving up.  The general lack of joy catches on with the viewer as they connect with these characters and it seems to be more depressing than anything else.

These characters and their cast evolve in a world full of shades of grey that fit the tone of the story and the acting.  The cinematography by Jacob Mendel works with this and creates dark tableaux with small bits of light here and there, which fits the story and its tone.  The images are bleak and dark, adding to the doom and gloom of the film.  Going with this is the music by Joe Cardamone which is in step with the rest and fitting in terms of depressiveness.

The film as a whole manages to create an atmosphere of despondency and depression that permeates everything and even the viewer after a while.  As a sad film, it reaches its goal of transferring the feeling to the audience.  The Icarus Line Must Die is one of those films that is successful in being one of those consistently dark and heavy stories that some will love while other will hate.  It’s one of those watches that will either fascinate or bore to death.