- Country: United States
- Initial release: July 15, 2017
- Film Director: David Maddox
- Running Time: 9 Minutes
- IMDB Grade: 7.3
In today’s political climate, where even the simplest of concepts can spark heated debates, it’s refreshing to come across a thought-provoking and humorous short film that challenges our perception of reality. “Alternative Math,” directed by David Maddox, is an eight-minute satirical masterpiece that explores the absurdity of post-fact America. With over six million views on YouTube and numerous awards, the film has captivated audiences around the world.
Unveiling the Plot and Characters
The film centers around Mrs. Wells, an elementary school math teacher portrayed brilliantly by Allyn Carrell. When she corrects young Danny’s incorrect answer of “22” to the question “What is 2 + 2?”, little does she know that her act of teaching basic arithmetic will ignite a nationwide controversy. As the story unfolds, we witness the comedic chaos that ensues when parents, the principal, and even the mayor challenge Mrs. Wells’ seemingly simple assertion that “2 + 2 = 4.”
A Relevant Commentary on the Nation’s Discourse
David Maddox conceived the idea for “Alternative Math” nearly two years ago, driven by frustrations over the inability to have meaningful conversations grounded in shared facts. The film’s relevance has only intensified with time, as the phrase “alternative facts” coined by President Donald Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, became a part of the cultural lexicon. Maddox seized the opportunity to infuse humor into this divisive issue, crafting a narrative that resonates with audiences across the political spectrum.
The Power of Satire
One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to remain politically neutral while addressing a wide range of societal issues. Maddox intentionally made the script more open-ended, allowing viewers to interpret the film through their own lenses. Whether it is a critique of the education system, political correctness, media sensationalism, or the concept of “fake news,” “Alternative Math” invites us to reflect on the state of our society’s discourse.
“We made it sort of politically neutral, or a little bit more vague about what it’s talking about. So yeah, if you want to interpret it about the school system and how kids can’t be wrong, or if you want to say it’s Trump and alternative facts, or if you want to say it’s about political correctness gone crazy, or about the media, and how the media blows things out of proportion, it’s about all of that stuff.” – David Maddox
Festival Success and Online Resonance
After a successful run at various film festivals, including the prestigious Austin Revolution Film Festival where it won the Best in Show for Shorts award, “Alternative Math” gained a loyal following. Maddox initially hesitated to upload the short film to YouTube, fearing that the phrase “alternative facts” would lose its relevance. However, the persistent requests from festival attendees and influential individuals compelled him to share it with the world. The film’s popularity on social media platforms, such as YouTube, can be attributed to its universal appeal and ability to engage viewers from all walks of life.
The Talent of Dallas and Future Projects
“Alternative Math” not only showcases Maddox’s directorial prowess but also highlights the abundance of talent in Dallas. The film’s cast, including the exceptional Allyn Carrell, consists of local actors who captivate audiences with their performances. Maddox, who founded IdeaMan Studios in Dallas, believes in the untapped potential of the city’s creative community. Building on the success of “Alternative Math,” Maddox is currently developing a feature-length comedy in collaboration with Malcolm Morrison. This upcoming project promises to be another testament to the talent both in front of and behind the camera in Dallas.
Conclusion: A Masterpiece of Satire and Commentary
“Alternative Math” is a shining example of how a short film can make a significant impact in today’s digital age. With its blend of comedy, satire, and thought-provoking themes, the film has struck a chord with viewers worldwide. By tackling the concept of “alternative facts” in a politically neutral manner, David Maddox has created a work that invites introspection and critical thinking. As the film continues to entertain and stimulate conversations, it serves as a reminder of the power of art to challenge our assumptions and provoke change in our society.
So, the next time you find yourself debating the simple equation of 2 + 2, remember “Alternative Math” and the absurdity it exposes in our world of post-fact discourse.