All I want is the truth. That’s how “Missing” begins, and it greatly lives up to that hope: It’s one of the most honest and personal films I think Andrew has ever made, and I greatly appreciate that.
Let’s back up, then, because it’s been around three and a half years since the Tape was last sent. In those years, I spent plenty of time thinking about how I’d next reply. I even had footage shot and ready (Fun Fact: Most of these failed ideas were later compiled into “No!”). As the years dragged on (and this isn’t fair, but it happened) it would be harder and harder for Andrew to come up with a decent enough reply. And so what was I looking for?
- The next installment had to explain why I had waited for so long.
- It had to be worth the wait.
Despite not being a very long list, it was a tall order to live up on Andrew’s part. And “Missing” wholly delivers. There is only one part of the film that directly references “Powerful Magics” (and, by extension, the rest of the Tape‘s complicated web) and that’s when we see Andrew’s reflected face in the television (and, yes, the part where his face syncs up to his face was a nice touch). Besides this, “Missing” doesn’t go along the lines of other Tape replies. It throws any cheeky meta-references to YouTube out the window, it doesn’t attempt to counterpoint or ape anything from the previous installment, instead “Missing” simply IS. And that’s something that, during these past few years, I haven’t been expecting.
There are plenty of ways that I can talk about how this film still fits into the ongoing narrative of the tape and how its a microcosm for the internet, and I could probably pick it apart bit-by-bit and tell you how it actually does mirror everything else in the tape, but I think that would only destroy part of “Missing”‘s power (also, I don’t I would actually be able to do that last part).
Now that it’s my turn again, I have much the same feeling as Andrew did after watching “Powerful Magics”: I’m not quite sure what to do or how to reply. One thing’s for sure, all of the thinking I was doing and all the digging into internet memes is now void. “Missing” is too good to get a reply similar to anything I’ve sent before, and so it’s time for a new strategy.