- Directed by Laura Li -
“Exquisite Corpse” is an experimental short following the stream of consciousness of an entity that passed through multiple lives.
A male voice introduces us to different life passages, like chapters of different books written from a subjective point of view. The story in each part is not so important like the feelings, the moods, on-the-spot observations and random associations the human minds often make. The character returns to the womb, to the water and opens his eyes to a new set of memories from a different life. He remembers being hurt, being a child, being on a beach, he remembers colors and textures, body sensations and moods, all unified in the rhythm of an evocative narration, that bring the audience into a hypnotic state, taking them on a journey through time with the magic incantation of the stream of consciousness. Though it's hard to judge a freeform contemplative text like the voice-over of this film, we suggest a tighter structure even for experimental shorts, in order to keep the spectators interested to the end.
The cinematography is smooth, observational, poetic. The director mixes shaking handheld camera movements in outdoor locations, making use of natural light with static, low-key shots of the main character. The first style is adopted for the depiction of memories, the second for the transitory moments in between lives. While shooting on film is always a good experience for filmmakers, there is a lasting trend for directors worldwide to make experimental and essay film on 8 or 16 mm, featuring grainy flickery low-saturation images, even though there is no real purpose of the techniques. The imagery of a character posing in natural surroundings is a cliche and so is its juxtaposition with the meditative music. The video art area has expanded so much in recent years, that there is even a category of a “conventionally unconventional” cinema and artists often get trapped in it while searching for new forms of expression.
All in all, “ Exquisite Corpse” is a versatile movie and the viewer can experience this video as the story of a soul that ended his reincarnation process, like an illustration of passages from a diary or simply like a visual poem about the different phases of life.