Mar 1, 2018

The Antiteater of Ten (Martin Del Carpio, 2017)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼

NYC-based musician and cineaste Martin Del Carpio speaks of (or rather shows) depression-stricken individuals in his most accomplished effort to date - a moody experimental drama The Antiteater of Ten.

The ten-minute short opens with The Reader (Cherry Fu who also takes credits as a co-writer, producer, costume designer and casting director) - a girl in an elegant goth/widow-esqe attire - turning and then ripping the pages of an entirely black (note)book. As the poetic (non)narrative unfolds, the author challenges the form and uses varied music, modern dance, performance art, over-the-top theatrics and creative editing to embody and emphasize the very (dark) feeling and inner voices that are tearing his characters apart.

Even without having previously read the synopsis about people locked in the cages of their own troubled minds, one can clearly see or sense their internal anguish reflected in the instinctive, highly expressive imagery devoid of color (apart from a polarized 3D-like sequence and the glowing eyes of Dancer Dream) and dominated by deep shadows. Both black and white seem to absorb their cries for help, keeping them within the confines of their (self-imposed) prison, alone and extremely vulnerable. But, who are they? What made them feel that way? Are they still alive or stuck in a limbo, somewhere between life and death? The questions remain unanswered, but that is what is so alluring about this concise (and beautiful!) 'nightmare' which fits somewhere between the cinema of Antouanetta Angelidi and David Lynch.

The film is available for free viewing at Del Carpio's Vimeo channel.


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