- Directed by Jasper Graeve -
Wilderness is an experimental short directed by a very young artist who states Gaspar Noe’s film “Enter the Void” as his main inspiration.
All the film we are experiencing the POV of Nemo, a young man who is disappointed by his current love affair and feels lost. He goes out one Friday evening and is taken by his friend to a loud club. A woman that he finds attractive offers him a drink after spilling the one he already had. From this point on, Nemo's perception is altered and the viewer roams along wit the character’s flood of thoughts, dreams, memories, while also coming back sporadically to reality, where after he exits the club complaining of feeling sick, he ends up in an ambulance and later in the hospital.
The drink Nemo he got made him the depths of his consciousness, while the woman who served him acts like some sort of spiritual guide. Metaphoric imagery is mixed with fluorescent shots of the club girl who ask Nemo things that help him discover his true feelings and desires. Metaphoric shots are mixed with The man’s memories, like the interview for the job he has and hates, the fights with his girlfriend and his days as a DJ, the career he really wants to pursue.
The vivid imagery and blurred sounds immerse the viewer into the inner world of the character, a young adult that feels he comprised too much and already dislikes his life. Exploring his own inner self, Nemo understands he must change his life to find happiness.
Though maybe resembling too much the french film it is inspired from, turning this into almost a pastiche, we appreciate the complexity of the universe portrayed by a very young director. The narrative is nonlinear, but it is clearly told, despite the dynamic wiggle between different memories, imaginary encounters and dreams. Editing and sound design are quantitative, but also qualitative, except from the shot when Nemo says farewell to his spiritual guide, where the visual effects are not very well performed.
All in all, “Wilderness” is an important step in the development of a visual and directorial style by Jasper Graeve and it is also a bold approach to a coming-of-age story of a modern young man.