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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'MY WHIPLASH GONE BLANK'
- Directed by Julian Quentin -

This experimental short film is a depiction of the torment caused by unfulfilled desire.

The director found inspiration in one of Andy Warhol’s most famous works, a  serigraphy named “Silver Car Crash”, which shows a body sprawled across a car's mangled interior. In a Sotheby’s video with art historian Sir John Richardson commenting Warhol’s painting, he talks about “filmriss”- “when their film ruptures doing a projection and then the screen goes blank; it is a Freudian term for the loss of consciousness. This painting is like a filmriss, it is like suddenly you lose consciousness and all you see is blank whiteness .” 

Following the same perception of the painting having a filmriss effect, the director finds the crash to be a symbol of violent liberation from an unhealthy build-up of unsatisfaction and frustration. He chose to explore this concept using a non-narrative form: a video performance. The tension is built through a dynamic series of shots depicting a hypnotic choreography of tense dancers moving in the dark. The film opens with four characters wearing a doodled tribal makeup  - a suggestion of returning to the primary instincts. The suspenseful and tormenting mood reminds us of the experimental works of the 60’s, like Jacks Smith’s controversial “Flaming Creatures”. The monochromatic images become gradually colored, the dance is infused with blue filters and the bodies are painted with neon shades, like in Warhols’ pop art celebrity portraits. The contorted movements develop into a fight, that ends in the final sequence where we lose the protagonists into a cloud of smoke, the suggestion of the crash that ends the turmoil and brings silence.

The sound-design is a key element in setting up the nightmarish atmosphere of the film: the contemporary music is completed by haunting sounds, which amplify the dancers’ movements.

Since the early works of cinema, experimental film has been an important factor in the discovery of new techniques and forms of expression. We appreciate the creative effort put into this piece of performance video by a young director that seeks unconventional forms of manipulating the audiovisual language.