Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Abandoned


All but gone after one week, I caught the one showing of The Abandoned last night.

I greatly admired the three shorts by director Nacho Cerdà on the Aftermath/Genesis DVD. "Aftermath" is notorious as a movie about necrophilia, but it's strangely so much more than that. It's easily as brilliant and beautiful as it is shocking and horrifying.

It's interesting even to note that the DVD includes an interview of Cerda by Jörg Buttgereit, director of Nekromantik. The gulf between their intentions is remarkable. Buttgereit clearly breaking taboos for its own sake and Cerda clearly attempting to speak through his art and being unafraid, or unconcerned, about whether or not her breaks taboos in doing so.

In a world where thoughtful horror movies made by intelligent people for intelligent people were common, this would be noticably well-directed but generally unremarkable movie.

As we sadly do not live in that world, it is remarkable for the thoughtfulness, the excellence of the direction, the perfection of the pacing, the beautiful seamless acting. I would have very much like to have seen a movie like this get greater success at the box office than it has.

Mind you, the credits open in an incredibly annoying faux-Cyrillic font that made me cringe. I think that might be the only technical complaint I have, however. There's merely something distant and unconnected about it. I never felt involved in the story as much as much as admiring the skill it took to make it.

Unfortunately, I was forced to see it with a young audience who clearly would have rather seen a standard thrill-show type horror movie, rather than this story of grown-ups, family connections, the role the past plays in our lives and what it is to be abandoned. Despite not quite loving it, I must say it's exactly what I would like to see more of from movies.

In this posting, William D'Annucci says that a friend of his called it "the film that Silent Hill wished it was." I think that's exactly right.

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