☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
How does one even begin to describe something that has a form deeply rooted in formlessness, something so uncanny, yet so fiercely absorbing? Is this the portrait of our Universe before its very existence or a tangled yarn of lost memories unwinding in search of their owner? The purifying essence of Nothingness, or the liquefied (sub)consciousness of Omnipresence? Could it be the penetrating gaze of the abyss transmuted into a complex web of linear and textural emanations?
Whatever the answers may be (and they may be more puzzling than the questions!), Matierica is nothing short of a revelatory piece of modern animation - an experiential, unapologetically ambiguous cine-phantasm of metaphysical proportions. Created in 'the process of continuously overlapping about 5,000 pencil drawings', according to the author himself, it adapts to the viewer's state of mind, hypnotizing you to a meandering 'promenade of imagination'. In turns but often at the same time, it provides you with spiritual energy, injects you with existential dread, comforts you as the most placid dream and creeps under your skin, sending your inner self on a nightmarish journey into the Unknown.
Its sublime, pareidolia-inducing visuals of otherworldly qualities invoke both luminous and dark apparitions who - transcendental in their purity and liberated from the confines of the narrative - roam the abstract, shapeshifting 'landscapes' of liminal space(s). Once they're close to become materialized, Kurosaka dissolves them and sends them back into the ethereal (and eternal) realm or rather, limbo where they spiral into the formidable primordiality. Shrouded in a delicate veil woven of the finest, evocatively disconcerting sound threads (many kudos to Haruyuki Suzuki), these mysterious entities languorously glide through seamless transitions and plunge you into a rapturous trance.
Riveting and uncompromising in its elusiveness, Matierica is an acquired taste (though, that probably goes without saying), and more importantly, a shining example of the medium's limitless possibilities for artistic expression.
This half-hour masterpiece is available for rent @ Vimeo on Demand.