Sunday 17 January 2010

Sybiosis (?)

Director: Rebecca Martos

My favourite No Festival Required screening of the year is always the selection of short films shown at the Phoenix Art Museum. Here's Selection 2010.
Sybiosis is a jerky and stylised short film, very much an experimental art piece rather than a plot based picture, mostly done through animation of live action characters. If there's a theme, it's the merging of technology and flesh, though not as overtly as something like Tetsuo, the Iron Man. I wonder if the title was meant to be Symbiosis but I blinked and missed it. I enjoyed it, but I couldn't tell you anything about the intentions behind it or what it was supposed to mean. It's a wildly experimental play with colours and textures and shapes. Don't expect a story. That road can only lead to disappointment here.

So we watch a woman walking by the side of the road, a recognisable shape in front of the blur of traffic behind her. We see her swallow a microphone lead first. We watch her in the foetal position being molested by cables, which cannot be still and have a mind of their own, though they certainly don't become as overt as anything hentai can conjure up. We also watch graphic equalisers and mixing boards, all accompanied by an electronica soundtrack that frequently includes glitch material. Many scenes are so abstract we can't tell quite what they are, reminding of the sort of puzzles you sometimes see at the back of magazines of close ups of everyday objects. You'll either enjoy the collage or hate the apparent incoherence, but I'd still be interested in what you think it is. Perhaps that's the point.

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