That’s the question that director Michael Turney asks in his short Killer, which screened at the Queens World Film Festival on Friday night at the Secret Theater in Court Square.1
The plot centers around David, who struggles to break the monotony of his everyday life and form real human connections.2 When the dating scene doesn’t provide him what he needs, the titular character turns to a dark fetish.
“One of the things that both Mike and I have been so frustrated with, we’re getting to that mature age where we really don’t have authentic connections with people,” said Kevin Costigan, who plays the main character. “But we’re finding so few opportunities for that given how we all are now.”
The idea behind Killer came from numerous conversations between Costigan and Turney, who noticed that people were fixated on their smartphones instead of interacting with the world around them. While smartphones are certainly a communication device, they are taking away from people’s ability to communicate, Turney said.
One scene in Killer particularly relevant to this commentary, when David is attempting to have a conversation during a singles mixer in Manhattan. While the conversation starts off like most do, the subject of David’s attention quickly turns to her phone, much to the chagrin of David.
“The iPhone thing, the Facebook networking thing, the fantasy thing, it’s so prevalent,” Costigan said. “It’s so consuming that all of us are affected in some way.”