August 2007. Isolated in his austere penthouse overlooking Central Park, obsessive Wall Street data analyst Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) sees ominous patterns: His computer models are behaving erratically, as are the swarms of mosquitos breeding in his apartment, an infestation that attends his psychological meltdown.
On Wall Street, they’re called “quants”—the intense data analysts whose mathematical prowess can make the difference between a fortune and a flop. Consumed with his work, Richard doesn’t often stray from his office or apartment. But when Richard decides to go to a company party, he makes two acquaintances: the mysterious, sylphlike Lena (Charlotte Vega) and one pesky mosquito, both of which take root in his mind, altering his existence in profound ways.
Finding common ground between Franz Kafka, David Cronenberg and Mary Harron’s AMERICAN PSYCHO, director-screenwriter Filip Jan Rymsza emerges with a new kind of body horror, set during a single week of an exquisitely rendered pre-crash 2007 replete with signs of sociopolitical and economic rot. A hypnotic plunge into the fragile mentality of an individual who can see patterns long before the rest of us, MOSQUITO STATE adds a significant chapter to the subgenre of urban isolation.
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: Poland, USA
Director: Filip Jan Rymsza
Writers: Filip Jan Rymsza, Mario Zermeno
Cast: Beau Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesy, Olivier Martinez
Director of Photography: Eric Koretz
For all the vampiric bloodletting in genre films, I felt like the mosquito, man’s deadliest enemy, was thoroughly unexplored and, after reading Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys, I became fascinated by those hidden away “quants” who made high-frequency trading go. This unlikely pairing became the basis for MOSQUITO STATE. 2007 was the year I moved to Los Angeles. It now feels distant, but also strangely immediate. Many cultural events have fused with post Y2K banality, but I still recall holding the first-gen iPhone as if it were my first born. In addition to the iPhone, the first week of August saw Barry Bonds break baseball’s all-time home run record, Rupert Murdoch purchase the Wall Street Journal, "The Apprentice" with Donald Trump enter its fifth season, author Nassim Taleb appear on Charlie Rose to discuss his book Black Swan, a young senator named Barack Obama speak of growing divisiveness at the Democratic Presidential Debate, and BNP Paribas cite “a complete evaporation of liquidity,” kicking off the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Canaries in coal mines and mosquitos in the streets.