Lone is singer Chelsea Wolfe’s first film, one that combines her music and the artistic expression of filmmaking to create a visually wild ride. Directed by Mark Pellington and based around Wolfe’s album “Pain is Beauty”, the film is a series of vignettes and images interlocked with five songs from the aforementioned album. The combination creates a dreamlike landscape littered with beauty and horror.
I won’t lie – I was wary at first as the viewer is essentially watching an hour long music video and I wasn’t entirely sure that was going to work. But unlike standard music videos, this one manages to tell a story without telling a story, leaving the interpretation entirely up to you. While it may not work for some, it worked for me. And what a story it is – encompassing love, beauty, pain, horror, death, life, destruction, nature and everything in between. A story created with viscerally stunning images that vary from filling one with longing to filling one with uneasiness and a story that includes a plethora of people. A particular repeating image that stuck out to me was people wearing animal masks – I feel like I’ve seen this a lot lately, mostly in the horror genre. I’m not sure if this was their way of introducing horror into the framework of the story here or not but it was really the only imagery that felt to me to be a bit of an overused trope.
Wolfe herself has a haunting voice and her songs are raw, only serving to amp up the imagery that we’re seeing. While the songs are the focus, there is a bit of dialogue, mostly repeated phrases such as “I’m not afraid to remember.” and “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I’m not sure which five songs from the album were used, as I’m not familiar with Wolfe or her work outside of this film, but she’s definitely garnered a new fan by using this medium.
Pellington’s direction is, at times, brilliant. Besides all the emotions and elements he combines, he also combines his original imagery with what appears to be old home movies and stock footage of natural disasters. The overall affect is a film that will stick with you long after you’ve finished watching.
Today we have another Jeremiah Kipp short film, the experimental and NSFW Drool. While I loved Crestfallen, I don’t love this. However, I also don’t dislike it.
Drool leaves one unsettled and in my case vaguely grossed out due to the copious amounts of, you guessed it, drool. I may be unsqueamish when it comes to blood and guts but other bodily fluids give me the heebie jeebies. And I have issues with sticky substances and whatever was used here seemed a bit syrupy. So if you have issues with that sort of thing, I’d take a pass on this on. If you’re down with a little (a lot of) clear, sticky syrupy gel like substances then I definitely recommend this.
Stop telling us about your weird issues with substances and get to the point of the film already!
Another silent film and completely open to interpretation, Drool is shot in sepia tones with a stark background (that has a steam room feel to it). Minus the fluids, it’s really beautifully done. Featuring just two actors, my interpretation is: birth, life, sex and death. (All this in just under five minutes too!) There’s really not a lot going on here action wise but the actors really do a great job of storytelling with their entire bodies. They’re graceful and it’s almost like watching a ballet (although a ballet done mostly laying on the floor).
The full video is included below and if you like experimental film and aren’t particularly squeamish like me, then I’d definitely recommend a viewing. Drool is unlike anything else I’ve seen recently and that alone wins it major points in a cinematic world of remakes, sequels and just plain boringness.