Monday, October 25, 2010

DISSOLUTION (2010, Nina Menkes, A++++++++++)

DISSOLUTION (2010, Nina Menkes) will be shown in the World Film Festival of Bangkok 2010

Here is my thought on DISSOLUTION (A++++++++++)

I like this film very much, especially its surreal, dreamlike/nightmarish quality. I just watched it one time, and still can't understand many things about it. I think I need to re-watch it again and need to talk with some cinephile friends before I can begin to understand a little bit about it.

What impresses me the most in my first viewing is the scenes in which the various female characters stare into the camera or stare at the viewers. I can't recall having seen this kind of technique before. These scenes give me some strange feelings. I particularly like the weary eyes of the woman in the bar. These women are not just the objects that the viewers look at. They also look back at you.

The film is full of many impressive scenes, especially the "animal" scenes, the various scenes in which something is breaking, the scene in which the camera is waiting outside the door while the murder is taking place, the scene in which the man finds the ring in the fish, the scene in which the man does something-I-don't-understand on the roof of the building, the scene in which the man is walking in something like a dark labyrinth near the end of the film, and the extremely memorable ending.

What surprises me in my first viewing is that there are many characters I assumed would forge a kind of loving relationship with the protagonist, but that doesn't happen. I assumed that the woman at the post office and the man might fall in love with each other, but it turns to be the opposite. I assumed the same thing with the girl in the building, but that does not happen. I assumed that the man and the two girls who walk past each other at night might have a friendly conversation, because they seem to mutually like each other, but they don't really talk to each other. I assumed that the man might begin to have a relationship with another man in the bar, but their conversation turns to be awkward. Apart from some metaphysical talking with his friends and his relationship with the kind housekeeper, the protagonist in this film seems to float around in an unfriendly world. The world is hostile to him, and he is also hostile to the world. I like the way the film portrays this unfriendly atmosphere very much. I feel as if the unfriendly atmosphere in this film slowly weighs on me and suffocates me.

I also like the use of two-colored subtitles in this film, and the juxtaposition of the image of a lying horse with the image of the sleeping protagonist is very intriguing.

I think another interesting thing in this film is that the protagonist is very unlikeable. I think most viewers can't sympathize with this protagonist, especially after he killed the woman. I think a film with this kind of protagonist is challenging.


menkes said...

I hope you have a chance to see this film on the big screen, even though i believe in Bangkok it will be digit beta and not HD...but let me know and thank you for writing about the movie.....

nina menkes

celinejulie said...

I will try to see it on the big screen. This is a very powerful and thought-provoking film. And I'm sure its hypnotizing power will be magnified by the big screen. :-)