when I thought that they got the last Goth kid, along comes this DVD
a collection of short experimental films with running times
anything between 5 and 25 minutes.
The DVD doesn't supply much info about whom exactly the film-makers are,
but I have a suspicion that most of
them are probably film school students
and that these shorts were made while they were still at university. Why
do I say this? Because a few of them seems to be filmed in some bohemian
dorm rooms. Comfortingly enough, dorm rooms doesn't seem to
have changed that much
since I was in university back in the 1980s.
Most of the shorts have their basis in horror films and have a definite
Goth feeling to them. In fact a few of the shorts are music videos
for a heavy rock band and the rest for some techno music. (I'm probably
showing how out of touch I am here by using these classifications. Maybe
the music is ambient techno grunge or something fancy. I don't know ? but
if it doesn't have any electric guitars and you have to plug all the
instruments into a wall, then it's techno to my mind.)
Usually shorts completed by film schools students are simply made to
ensure that students can properly frame shots, keep the camera in focus,
that sort of thing ? the basic stuff that the makers of
Manos, the Hands of Fate for instance got
The Goth, grunge or whatever sensibility and pretension comes free of
charge, and while I sound disparaging, I?m not: imagine trying to watch
short films made by yuppies instead! (Uhm, actually they call them ads I
suppose.) But after a while the Goth, etc. sensibilities turned from wry
bemusement to vague irritability: some more originality would be required
Or make that ideology. The DVD cover states that it contains adult
material and isn't suitable for children. This is true. One short
explicitly shows a student-y couple having sex, interspersed with shots of
the same woman being raped by another man. (This short was filmed in that
student res I mentioned earlier.)
watched about a minute of the first short on the DVD (ominously titled Vomire)
before hitting the stop button
it looked truly disgusting and I didn't
feel like watching it at all. Thanks to the Internet I have seen enough
gross stuff to last me a life time!
Most of the shorts on this disc have little purpose beyond shocking
delicate bourgeois sensibilities. But what is the point? Playwright
Bertolt Brecht claimed that art isn?t a mirror, but a hammer. Brecht
however had ideology (he was a commie) and like Kurt Cobain said, shocking
the bourgeoisie is easy. Creating something more substantial and lasting
Which brings me to my favorite short on this disc: a 20 minute or so
segment about geriatric dementia titled Sedgewick
that plays like Dali/Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou in that it
successfully recreates that incoherent and feverish quality of dreams.
Don't miss it ? it makes one glad that in our very conformist and
conservative times that the yuppies haven't won yet and something like
this still can get made.
THE DISC: Forget any ideas of DVD quality, etc. These shorts are
made on the cheap mostly using handheld video cameras. One feels cheated
somehow because I'm sure the DVD could have fitted more shorts and
segments than it does.
WORTH IT? If you like experimental film, then checking out this
disc is worthwhile even if it is just for the ?Sedgewick?
short. It does however feel at times like a bunch Fangoria readers with
Sony video cameras running rampant.
RECOMMENDATION: If your tastes run to the bizarre and weird, you
have a tolerance for low production values, then you won't be disappointed
by The Severed Head. Also, a weird short like the
musical/horror/comedy Liontown might just be
the thing to show to bored friends visiting ? before they send you off to
get that much-needed psychiatric help everybody always felt you needed.
Unfortunately I have the suspicion that only friends and family of the
film-makers involved would probably want to check this DVD out . . .