Sunday, June 04, 2006

Experimental 1

Directed by NoExistance,
I found this short on YouTube and I couldn't find the director info or the country or year! All I can say is I hope this guy doesn't live in my apartment complex...

This film is about a guy who goes digging in the woods and ends up losing his eyes. I think it's supposed to be a warning to children.

I actually don't know what the film is about, as we were warned might happen. The main (and only) character is digging with a shovel in the woods until he finds some small wormy thing that I have yet to identify. (help??) We get several shots of the guys digging and of the wormy thing until we finally see the guy running out of the woods with a bandage around his eyes. In the last section, the guys is tied up at an unrecognizable location with eyeballs on his hands.

I was actually very impressed by the emotional impact of this very short film. It seems very non-linear and certainly non-narrative, but it stills gave me a feeling of desperation and urgency. The man's digging is enhanced by a whistling noise like a tea kettle that gets louder and louder (and consequently more and more annoying.) At one part when you think your head is going to explode from the unbearable screech of the whistle, we get a strange close up of the man's head that is pulsing and lumpy and appears to be ready to explode itself. I had a viceral response to both the visual and audio aspects of the film--I found myself getting very anxious and ants while watching it. This may be in part attributed to the quick flashes and jumping scenes.

I also liked how this film is so open to interpretation, the fact that the man loses is vision and then seems to have lost his way. Fairy tales and myths often involve both children and adults who become lost in the woods and experience a loss of reality; this man has literally lost his sense of direction as well as figuratively lost the direction of his life. (I may be projecting a bit on that last one. It's just all that digging for some unidentified wormy thing seems like this man has gone off the deep end....)

All in all, I thought this short was just plain creepy which isn't easy to do in 4 minutes. Marilyn Manson should hire this guy for his next video....


Rhead said...


The wormy thing in my life for which I've been searching at least since eighth grade is . . . is . . . is . . . right here:

and represents something intangible, sightless, indefinable, and a little slimy, and hidden as it were under layers of dirt, inches of it if not feet.

A shovel is required.

Eyes are optional.

Shock value is inevitable. Interpretation is multiple and impossible.

Jay said...

Freaky as hell and extremely stylistic. I wasn't even trying to piece together a narrative here, just take in the erratic soundscape and barrage of unpredictable images. Fantastic use of editing and sound in this short, under what appears to be a minimal budget.

Some of the weirdest images happen when we switch from the short's default black and white motif to color in certain parts. I'm thinking specifically of the cut to the side profile of the subject (seen in yellowish light) as he appears to be chewing. The soundtrack, meanwhile, makes it sound as if he's chomping on screws. I assumed he was eating worms since we get the cut from the guy chewing to a shot of crawling worms. This is followed by the bizarre "biological relief map" view of the guy's head as he chews. Really innovative.

Another memorable "color" shot was when the guy's eyeballs were shown in close-up resting in his hands (before we tilt up to the guy's eyeball-less face). Also memorable were the shots of the guy peeling some type of organic layer off of the eyeballs.

The final (close-up) shot of the guy with a covering over his head as he appears (and sounds) to be screaming reminded me of the "rapidly shaking head" effect from "Jacob's Ladder," if you've ever seen that movie. I also liked the visual "stuttering" effect that happens in the last B&W scene we get of the guy running through the forest.

I mention in another post the quality of "redemptive beauty" in certain experimental shorts, which "justifies," if you will, some of their more unorthodox features for me. I definitely found this particular short to have that quality, which made it worth checking out.

ltpalm said...

In my opinion, this is a true experimental film! Each shot and every sound in this work produces a strong emotional response despite the fact that none of it adds up to any substantial plot or theme. The important elements here are the gripping moving images and the eerie noises. However, like Jessica, I do feel there is a fairy tale feel to this film. In this case, the woods live up to their archetype of being a mystical place that is at once alluring and yet scary. Most of all, I love the opening of the short where the extreme close up of the fingers opens up to let the viewers in on the shocking element inside. In a way, the fingers look like worms.