Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A classic example of "Shockumentary". Despite the interesting symbolism of this film, i couldn't help but feel that it was exploitative in showing these dead bodies and calling it "art". I do however feel that this, and "Aftermath" (1994) both have similar ideas but are both quite a tough watch, again though, very powerful in it's message.
I will probably never need to watch this movie again. The images will be burned into my mind for a long time. One of the ultimate, raw confrontations with death ever put to film. Damn.
An autopsy filmed with no sound. It's quite gruesome and hard to watch. "In adding a literal deconstruction of man to the metaphorical one that graces so many works of art, Brakhage has created with "Act" the ultimate horror film, for better or worse."
A terrifyingly naked and matter-of-fact look something that we tend to take for granted: what happens to our bodies after we die. Few films carry this amount of shock value in so short a time, and even by modern standards it is unparalleled in its depiction of what one might call gore; nevertheless, it is a documentary of unparalleled accuracy.
Jean-Luc Godard once said that every edit is a lie, and he's completely right. Documentary is perhaps the best example of this policy, as the events therein, though taken from real situations, are chopped up to suit the director's vision. Even worse, when people know they are being filmed, they act much differently than they would in real life.
This film's protagonists are corpses in a mortuary who cannot primp or present themselves as they'd like to be. With positively no sound, the images retain an knockout impact and the editing emerges as truly being for the purpose of moving the proceedings along.
Many who watch this film may state that Brakhage is a voyeuristic, disgusting pervert with no respect for humanity or the sacred nature of death. The last part may be true, but it's plain to see that the intention here is not to shock or teach any lessons. It's simply a glimpse of something you may never see, or want to see, in every day life.
Challenging, maybe a difficult watch for some viewers or unintentionally thrilling for the morbid voyeur. Anonymous morgue personnel go about their work on equally faceless bodies, all of which are shot in a frank manner bereft of stylistic flourish or arthouse pretension. In this way, it is respectful and professional in the manner of the staff on camera and all are filmed with an attention to detail without personality or facial expression. This may lead those so inclined to reflect broadly on mortality or their own subjective existence, as the lack of any sound evokes such reactions quite easily. Essentially, it's all in the title which reflects the derivation of the word autopsy.
Brakhage analyzes the perfect machine that the human body represents. With a minimalist approach and a fascination towards the body so great that the film overflows with admiration, The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes refers to the act of beholding the unbelievable. Often confused with nauseating gore and vomit-inducing, "hard to watch" images, this fascinating short approaches the realm of perfection. A dark aura is perceived throughout, but it is balanced out by breathtaking and beautiful images.
Short but very effective. Real-live autopsies, hands burrowing about.
This coming off as interesting as opposed to normally off-putting is probably an indication of my career path. Brakhage said he muted it because it would've been too intense or probably exploitative; this has given the film a nihilistic and despairing tone.
so let me preface this by saying this is pretty much not something anyone wants to see. perhaps at least for pleasure. the footage of this film is comprised almost entirely of autopsies. and not the kind you see on csi of really pretty people with stitches going down their chests. these are very regular people. it is incredibly unsentimental about the human body. however, aside from even its educational merits (which, im sure you can find better footage of autopsies if biology is your only interest here), it is a poetic film in its own way. brakhage thought of himself as a poet with a film camera in hand. weak stomachs beware, but brave, poetic souls take notice.
This is definitely one of the most repugnant, nauseating, and vomit-inducing films I've come across, but I love how upfront it is with actual death. That aspect of it blew my mind.
I saw it. ..er, most of it. a long time ago. how can one rate such a unique and certainly not "enjoyable" film?