US, 2012, 92 min
To those dark horses with the spirit to look up and see... a recondite family awaits.
"Oddly engaging documentary about a counterculture alternate-reality game."
Tiny Mix Tapes
By mixing canon with fact, McCall has managed to replicate the game's experience perfectly and has created an engaging film that is totally enticing and wonderfully frustrating.
The Institute challenges the viewer to figure out what's real and what's not.
Mystery is part of the appeal.
A compelling portrait of an unhappy new millennium searching for something better.
Here was interactive entertainment that combined treasure hunts, geocaching, and Who killed Laura Palmer?â€“style sleuthing.
Spencer McCall's ambitious documentary gives those who weren't part of that three-year production a chance to appreciate what they missed.
The Village Voice
A record of the mad invention of the game's masterminds.
San Francisco Chronicle
Oddly engaging documentary about a counterculture alternate-reality game.
A shadowy conversation-starter of a movie...
East Bay Express
Spencer McCall's film takes the shape of an amusing portrait of the times.
Washington Square News
To take part in the Jejune Institute's program is to become a major character in a primordial conflict of good and evil, truth and suppression, enlightenment and ignorance.
Smells Like Screen Spirit
...Cleverly challenges the audience to reconsider their own conclusions about the onscreen events.
One of the most interesting and weirdly inspiring films I've seen.
A ground-breaking social experiment.
San Francisco Weekly
Play itself can be profound.
San Francisco Weekly (Feature)
An intriguing continuation of the interactive mystery.
The #1 film people will be talking about at Sundance.
The Village Voice
Playfully subversive... Rarely have I felt so absorbed.
Mike Scott, The Times Picayune
A brilliantly constructed film... a remarkable feat. 5 Stars.
â€¦the documentary sometimes blurs the same lines in and out of reality; there were moments where I questioned whether the entire documentary was false, if the ARG, already a fictional story, was fictional altogether and nonexistent outside the framework of the film. It was fascinating in the way even a recounting of the ARG causes a viral unbalance of reality.
A must for performance-art students, latent Situationists, punks, hippies, radicals, cultural studies academics, the unconscionably bored, and any theater person who goes beyond Sam Shepard.
Hull, his colleagues, their characters and the participants are constantly engaged in questions of engagement Ñ about being awake to mystery around you, about surrogate families, about the clarifying eustress that solving a puzzle provides.
Using a combination of interviews and film footage from the creators of the game and from participants, McCall puts together a wellspun story that takes viewers all the way down the rabbit hole.
When a player says, without much irony, Then the Sasquatch gave me the transcript, you know youÕre DEEP down the rabbit hole.
New York Times
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New Film Documents the Enigma of The Jejune Institute
San Francisco's Baffling Jejune Institute Gets A Documentary
Spencer McCall, Director, The Institute