I Saw a Film!

A fascinating animation project, allegedly 30 years in the making. Loosely based on Leviticus (a passage about how God intends to punish man for displeasing the omnipotent being. The Old Testament God, of course, owes much to the old Greek gods of Olympus, who also behaved in sharply petty and competitive manners. Incidentally, Stephen Fry aptly points out that that these gods are a easier to relate to and imagine because it’s their flippancy and ridiculous foibles especially in their relationships with one another that end up causing much of the suffering on Earth. This aside, what we have here is a magnificent piece of dark and disturbing work, laden with goop and ferocity.

There is a detailed post apocalyptic landscape rivaling WW1 battlefields, there are creatures sent to this Earth seemingly to put an end to the pointless misery, which all looks very familiar, but we are not allowed into any of the reasoning, if there is any. Moving on, we’re treated to Bosch like hell-scapes and monsters defecating and slaughtering the helpless. Don’t expect heroics, or cute commentary. There are no buddies, no partnerships. The madness and misery are the ingredients of this incomprehensible miasma. We are outsiders entirely left out.

I am a firm lover of surprises like this, and much like a dense visual poem (a dark one of course, perhaps by Bukowski) teasing out the threads of exact plot are limited. There’s no dialog, even among the actual humans interacting in this world. There isn’t much beauty either, though, there is a moment with a strange colorful terrarium kept by a squat, horribly afflicted character. But inside this beautiful tiny world the horrors continue, level upon level, horror is the basis. The film ends with a surprising alchemical sequence of world birthing, but it doesn’t appear that there’s much of a message, just an opportunity for creative emotional impact.

This is running on Prime (usa) for about 5 bucks and not for the feint of heart. It could have used some more interesting music, but perhaps that would have been distracting. I’m not sure. I’m glad there are still artists creating these sorts of memorable messes. And Phil Tippetts is a genius.

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