It's unexpected gems like these, shown as late-night fillers on minority channels, that keep the jaded cineaste excited and in love with the medium all over again. Though rigorously despairing in its view of history and humanity, REVOLVER has a clarity and beauty of image I haven't seen in years.
A serious of tableaux vivants are intertitled with dates which may, or may not, be significant in Swedish, or world history. A man drowns in a black slick. An old man fails to photograph his grandson because the latter keeps coming behind the camera. A couple try to dine underwater, but their implements keep floating away from them.
REVOLVER is composed of many such vignettes, which feature repetition, the mechanisation of humanity, our increasing dominance by the implements we use, submergence, failure, lack of perception, overwhelming. History goes round and round, but instead of continuity offers disjunction, dislocation, fragmentation. For all our technological advances, we are even less able to communicate with each other.
This is articulated in the film's form, which repeats and collapses in on itself, a Maxwell's Demon of repetition that burns up energy, wasting information, until final dissipation and collapse.
The individual images are grotesque, yet clearly evocative, in gleaming black and white compositions, just as I imagine the peepholes in Angela Carter's 'The Infernal Desire Machines Of Doctor Hoffman'. I especially loved the kitchen with the chessboard walls and floor, reminding us of one of the film's deconstructive forbears, Lewis Carroll, who also used dream imagery to destroy our complacent view of the world. I beg of you to watch this amazing short if you ever spot it buried in some unsympathetic listings.
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