Amidst the noise, Levi meets John (Moorhead), who has just left his partner and also needs a friend. He offers Levi some unneeded furniture and the two witness something impossible in Levi’s apartment. More than just scared off by the seemingly supernatural occurrence, the guys decide to turn it into a project. Record the happening, make a series or a movie, and make a fortune. As they do so, the film folds in on itself with segments that feel “real,” ones that are recreations of what happened to Levi & John, sections of interviews, and even presentations on the history of Los Angeles. John digs into the backdrop of a city that’s always felt a little obsessed with the occult and, well, things get weird.
“Something in the Dirt” doesn’t quite add up to the same emotional impact as the best of the Benson/Moorhead works, but I don’t think it has those intentions. It’s very clearly a “pandemic movie,” not only in that it’s practically a two-hander by the people who co-directed, co-edited, co-wrote, shot, and star in it, but in that it’s partially about the insanity of being trapped with another person who shares your obsessions. “Moon Knight” is going to take these guys to another level of fame. I hope they find the time to keep making weird little gems like “Something in the Dirt.”
Finally, there’s Ricky D’Ambrose’s clever “The Cathedral,” a film that our own Glenn Kenny has already praised out of its premiere and production from the 2021 Biennale College Cinema program. D’Ambrose clearly has a confident, fascinating voice as a filmmaker, making a family drama that plays out almost like a memory. The human mind often connects imagery to emotion when it thinks about family, whether it’s a grandfather’s cigar or an aunt’s jewelry. D’Ambrose’s static camera centers these images, how a seemingly mundane moment like someone painting their fingernails could imprint itself on a child who views it at the right day and time.