28 May 2018

All Hail the Great Gorilla's Emerald Trauma!

And outside, Phantasia reflected on the burden imposed by a double-tongued Psycho, yet it was rather easy to bring all of her children together. Besides, there was no way she would allow herself to leave the Spaceless Room behind the Peerless Portal.

“Stand where I can see you!”, yelled the Queen of Clubs masquerading as a harpy with Electra complex. She just wanted to emphasize the importance of vintage TV sets for the future of Hollowheads. 

 (click to enlarge)

Would You Care for a Glass of Lemonade?

In the meantime, on the other side of the diner, a young gentleman proposed a surreal deal to a ginger-haired lady. Every single one heard what he said, but pretended to be deaf or suffering from a cosmic headache.

“Would you care for a glass of lemonade?”, the inner voice asked, summoning a spell for unification of Hydra’s body parts. A perfect circle was formed instead.

(click to enlarge)

27 May 2018

Blueberry Pied Piper of Orange Sauce

When Rat ordered a blueberry pie, he didn’t know that it had been poisoned by the Evil Chef. Piece by piece, he devoured his last dream and entered the state of eternal remedy. “Nice job!”, he thought to himself, breaking the third rule of triangular reflection...

It was five minutes to midnight in the Land of Happy Baboons, so nobody was sleeping.

(click to enlarge)

26 May 2018

Theory PAL / NTSC (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2008)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼


Last night, I went to bed earlier than usual, slept for two hours or so, and woke up to a 'light nightmare' about wandering around an unknown city, so I ended up watching a pair of Rouzbeh Rashidi's medium-length films which appeared as the continuation of the said 'nightmare'. Shot in Tehran during the period 2000-2002 and edited in 2008, Theory PAL and Theory NTSC could be labeled as 'the cinematic Siamese twins', considering that they work best when watched as a double bill.

Their deliberately disjointed narratives seem to be about a lonely man (Ehsan Safarpour) haunted by a specter of cinema (eventually embodied by Pooria Nick Dell in Theory NTSC) that throws him off balance and turns his daily routines into a surreal series of puzzling sensations, events and conditions. The (confounded?) protagonist is simultaneously the film itself, the director's alter ego (silently conversing with himself, the film, the potential audience and his predecessors' heritage), as well as the reflection of the viewer's elusive, scrambled thoughts oscillating between enchantment and bewilderment.

He knows that he is at home, yet he feels that something is off, which is further emphasized by some sort of meta-filmic, Twilight Zone-esque intrusions. As his reality dissolves into a dreamlike state, the mundane becomes supermundane, with the mystery thickening and irrationality growing into a self-sufficient entity that inspires you to create and look for the alternative ways of re-experiencing the films. For that reason, the rest of this review will be consisted of grainy mobile photographs recently taken by myself and mostly influenced by Rashidi's works, even though these pictures may not speak a thousand words...

 A-Void-Ing

 Between Two Worlds

 Ghost

 In the Eye

Sudden Infinity

24 May 2018

Invocation of Pleasure During the Rabbit's Sun Rising

With both title and imagery alluding to Rabbit's Moon, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Scorpio Rising, Invocation of My Demon Brother, as well as Lucifer Rising, it's pretty easy to deduce this collage pays homage to Kenneth Anger's esoteric (and if you're into cult cinema, highly recommended) works of Magick Lantern Cycle.

 (click to enlarge)

22 May 2018

'The Birth of Imperial Rebis' Diptych

Above the fields of golden wheat, she floats.
Wrapped in the bubble of tears, her dreams dance
to the sounds of silence.

Below the rocks of memories, he notes
a piece of eternity, pierced by a broken lance.
Damned are the sirens!

In Her Own Image: The Empress of Whispers

In His Own Image: The Tzar of Hullabaloo

20 May 2018

Unrest (Philippe Grandrieux, 2017)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
 
 
An impenetrable meditation on 'la petite mort', Unrest gags and bounds its viewer with simultaneously erotic, ethereal, primordial, disquieting, mysterious and brooding imagery that gets progressively darker with each act, from hypnotizing superimpositions of treetops and a young woman's masturbation to spiritual intercourse with the void to eventual merging with ultimate darkness.

Unapologetically unconventional, this sexually charged enigma resting on 'murk is more' principle may have no and the vast myriad of possible answers simmering beneath the obfuscated surface. In equal measures, it appalls and delights, tires and titillates, demanding from you a heavy dosage of patience, superhuman concentration and complete surrender to its radical, word-defying, sublimely perverse starkness.

So, here's a humble homage to its inspiring elusiveness...

Un cauchemar blanc (© Nikola Gocić)

19 May 2018

A Prelude to the Apotheosis of St. Nudity

An extra incentive from Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight who have my short collage-comic A Hellenistic Travesty showcased on their website since yesterday inspires me to keep on creating (or rather, being created by my own creations), so today I present A Prelude to the Apotheosis of St. Nudity - an esoteric amalgamation of ancient Greek art, modern-day erotica and brutalist architecture.

(click to enlarge)

18 May 2018

A Hellenistic Travesty on 22 28

I am very pleased to announce that my short collage-comic A Hellenistic Travesty is being promoted on Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight (multimedia, publishing and curation), and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Jennifer Barnick and Ms. Rose Smith for making this possible. Check the link provided below:


(a detail from the fourth page)

16 May 2018

Night Awake (Sandy Ding, 2016)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼

Soaking wet with elusive sensations, Night Awake is akin to...

... a meditation leading to the third eye opening.
... an all-consuming echo at the edge of darkness.
... a hypnagogic moment consecrated by eternity.
... a cryptic visual poem written with cosmic dust.
... an ever-growing mystery of metaphysical proportions.
... a nebulous reminiscence of some primordial civilization.
... a transcendental ecstasy that disrupts time/space continuum.
... an obscure ode to crystalline dreams sung by enigmatic entities.
... a vague reflection of the forgotten gods' stream of consciousness.
... a mystical lullaby that keeps the predacious ancient forces asleep.
... an absence of reason on the endless path of spiritual reawakening.

And though it severely tests your patience with its thick, unapologetic indeterminacy, it provides you with a unique, increasingly immersive experience, submerging you into the ethereal world of liquid imagery and otherworldly noises. If you're up for a great challenge, make sure you don't miss it.

14 May 2018

Unidentified Flying Obstructions (bunike i perunike)

Flustered as a rabbit in the red, he points his Štap towards the sky.
“Monarhija!” – he screams, but his voice is swallowed up by Kraj.
 
 (click to enlarge)

13 May 2018

Atmo HorroX (Pat Tremblay, 2016)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼

Weird and absurd to the (breaking) point of making you baffled and somewhat frustrated by the overabundance of acidic weirdness and no-holds-barred absurdity (that occasionally outstay their welcome), Atmo HorroX appears as a raving mutant child born out of the unholy union between satirical schlock horror-comedy and crypto-alchemical avant-garde phantasmagoria, proudly boasting delightfully garish color palette, decidedly outdated yet refreshingly cool practical effects, cartoonish, incomprehensible gibberish standing for dialogue and complemented by propulsive, trip-inducing musical score, as well as a good deal of hyper-bizarre, have-to-be-seen-to-be-believed characters who alienize and scrutinize media and pharmaceutical industry with crazy names such as Catafuse, Molosstrap, Mistor Kvelttt and Spheretule Mother.


This review is based on the screener provided by Pat Tremblay and the film is available (no rent, purchase only) at Vimeo on Demand.

11 May 2018

(B)right Disturbances (The Rise of Pornocracy)

"The man-horse troubled me. I sensed he would lead me into a trap and that I should not have followed him." (Jean Cocteau, The Testament of Orpheus)
 
She let the world know the symmetry had been broken.
Nobody could recognize her face...

(click to enlarge)

(S)light Disturbances (Co-Conspirators of Pleasure)

An attempt at enlightenment through de-vulgarization of pornography. Sensitive viewers are advised to avert their eyes from the content of (once) erotic nature.

(click to enlarge)

8 May 2018

The Metamorphic Portrait of Jann Clavadetscher

It is always an immense pleasure to experience, explore and eventually write about the unconventional films, especially when they are signed by EFS filmmakers, so the same goes for Jann Clavadetscher whose diversified oeuvre I touch upon in my most recent article. You can read it at the official page of EFS publications:


Still shots from
Remembering (2008) | Kish (2014)
Controle No. 6 (2015) | Kino Hospital (2017)

4 May 2018

A Disobedient Poem (for Colliding Storms)

A Disobedient Poem is my (hopefully, both witty and lyrical) gift to 'the latest mutant child to be born from the ungodly marriage of The Underground Film Studio & Experimental Film Society'. In other words, this humble piece of artwork is the answer to (instead the review of) Clara Pais, Daniel Fawcett and Maximilian Le Cain's collaborative short film - a delightfully nutty home video by way of esoteric/fragmented phantasmagoria - Two Storms Collide which was shot in the company of EFS members, during the snow storm of last February, in Dublin.

A Disobedient Poem

Two storms collide, and the Black Sun does not abide
by the flickering lights that hide under the bed. Divide,
by all means divide the wild mind into Jekyll & Hyde,
and follow the Honey Guide into the Old Unidentified.
Then ride, ride far away from the Suicide, ‘cause inside
the Bright Void you’ll find – yourself, utterly mystified.
Naked and purified, deny the answer that was clarified
and lay, nullified, with Odd Poets unified, side by side.
 
(click to enlarge)

Two Storms Collide (2018) is available on the official Vimeo channel of the Underground Film Studio, just follow this link.

3 May 2018

'Stream of Thorns' Triptych

Warning yellows, naughty reds,
now it's time to take your meds.

Sleepy shadows loose the Blue,
stay away from Drops of Goo.

 The Terraforming of Rose-Red Neologisms

 The Annoyance of Annoying the Annoyed

The Finalization of Pseudo-Socialization

1 May 2018

Praxinoscope (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2012)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
 
 
When you look into the etymology of the word praxinoscope (the 19th century animation device that succeeded zoetrope), you'll find that it can be roughly translated as 'action viewer'. And the action we view in Rashidi's Praxinoscope could be interpreted as the director's reaction to romantic dramedy conventions which he applies in order to defy them or rather, adjust them to 'an unpredictable essay on cinematic form', as the official synopsis informs us.


Opening with an extremely poetic sequence which operates as a loving, virtuoso homage to Alexander Sokurov (soft focus, image distortions, glacial pacing and predominately earthy tones of the color palette), the film takes us on a journey back and forth through the history/memories of cinema. At certain points, it leaves us baffled by strange mélanges such as 'German Expressionism by way of La Nouvelle Vague', yet the numerous references that betray Rashidi's enviable knowledge of his predecessors' work rarely feel overbearing.


In the atmosphere of intimate detachment (or detached intimacy?) and frequently shifting, docu-fiction-esque 'reality', we follow a young man (subtly portrayed by Zulfikar Filandra, also credited as the soundscapist) on his (hopeless?) pursuit of love... or so it seems. If we compare his story to a peculiarly structured and rhythmically complicated song, we will notice four verses 'speaking' of his first, longest and most turbulent relationship (Alma Sabanadzovic), one for the sweet, short-lived affair (Julia Gelezova) and another one for the blind date / encounter with an ex-darling (Atoosa Pour Hosseini), with jazzy bridge (involving a street musician played by composer Wojciech Hupert), pseudo-choruses and final two verses depicting his turmoil, maybe even mental breakdown. The epilogue which sees the apparently upset protagonist exploring an abandoned boat indicates that the latter assumption might be true.


The guy's transformation from a smiling Don Juan into a human wreck is represented via the series of static, rigorously composed long takes of ascetic beauty, with usually no more than two figures appearing in the frame. Sporadically punctuated by black screens while accompanied by utter silence, muffled humming, dissonant trumpet solos or looming clouds of gloom-inducing noise, Rashidi's stark, increasingly melancholic imagery is woven into a fragmented narrative that needs no words to convey the drama... or the flickering illusion of it.

Praxinoscope is available for rent or purchase at Vimeo on Demand.