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This film comes on a recently released DVD containing several short films from Nacho Cerda. I just wrote a long review about Aftermath (1994) which shook me to the core with its graphic and unrelenting depiction of a body being desecrated. It took me some time before i was ready to watch another film like this, expecting at that time that Genesis (1998) would be cut from the same cloth. I couldn't be more wrong. This is a completely different animal, a poetic ode to obsession, love, and the art of sculpture, very much in the tradition of the best Twilight Zone episodes, albeit with a little bit more blood and some "European" nudity (i.e. complete natural full frontal nudity, without a sexual undertone).
An artist, a sculptor, has been deeply affected by the death of his wife in a car crash. All he can think about is hie dear wife who is no longer with him. He wakes up in cold sweat after strong nightmares every night. In his studio, he has undertaken a project to create a life-size sculpture of her, based on old films and photographs he has, and his own memories. As he nears completion, the statue starts to bleed, and parts of the plaster peal off while he himself undergoes a strange transformation.
Kafkaesque is the best way to describe this film. It's surreal as the husband sculptor mysteriously is transformed, and in the process, gives birth to something new. The film is gorgeous to look at, and instills a sense of unease and eeriness even though the final outcome is predictable given the title. Even if the film is very different from the other one, Nacho Cerda's style is now clear: slow edits, carefully composed wide shots, gorgeous cinematography and art direction, superbly used classical music, detailed sound, and no dialogs. If you can't stomach Aftermath (1994) (i suspect very few people can), you may still want to rent the DVD (available at Netflix and i suspect, local good video stores) and enjoy the lighter yet potent scare and moody ambiance this film offers.
- Laurent Hasson