Show, don't tell. That old film-school adage lies at the textual and conceptual heart of Arin Crumley & Susan Buice's Four-Eyed Monsters, a film about two fledgling artists who dive into image-making to alternately hamper and facilitate their fall into love. Densely and devicefully edited, the opening montage alone is a testament to the power of seductive imagery to quiet a cynical mind. Images slip and slide and collide to the point where much of the time you only realise that you've seen something after it's already gone. Even as one tableau is making you laugh, you're just starting to process an earlier image that broke your heart.
Arin (Crumley) and Susan (Buice) both live in New York, but they've never met. Arin has a home videography business; he tapes other people's weddings, he professionally sculpts documentation of other people's love. Susan is a waitress at an all-night hipster diner; she spends her Saturday nights serving chocolate martinis to women on diets. Both live lonely lives, an injury made more insulting by the fact that they must do so in tiny apartments with indecorous roommates (the film perfectly captures the inelegance of living with others). Each one is all alone in one of the most populous cities in the world; neither is happy with the way things are, but making things different seems really hard.