7.0/10
238
4 user 1 critic

Zoetrope (1999)

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(as Charles Deaux)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Nigel Bonfield
Michael Bradley
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Genres:

Short | Horror

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Release Date:

1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Stylish MTV music video propping itself up as the next great b&w art film
30 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

He appears to have gotten comparisons with people like Tsukamoto and Lynch for this short, at least from reviewers on here, but the short lacks the more interesting vision of those name dropped incessantly.

The imagery and art direction are pretty good, but a lot of the images are reused, so it often feels very repetitive and poorly paced, or like there's no progression, which might be the point, but it doesn't really help the film much. The CGI is luckily not employed very often, because it often looks very clumsy—revealing the low budget.

The editing doesn't seem particularly thoughtful: in fact it reminds me of an MTV music video (MTV or not, it's very similar to the style of a music video, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were repurposed into one). Lots of fast cuts and multiple layers of imagery with, yet again, lots of repeated images. It's very fast and seems to rotate around all the art direction five times to make sure the audience doesn't miss anything. It doesn't have the frenetic effect offered by Tsukamoto's Tetsuo made a decade earlier—probably because it lacks the context developed as Tetsuo unfolds and it doesn't have a good soundtrack that augments the imagery. It seems to be there to confuse the viewer and perhaps provide a glimpse into a fractured mind, with some recurring imagery to add coherence, but it often feels aimless, and little context is given to understand anything that's going on, so that doesn't help... It may be that I just have a difficult time understanding the narrator. I think it's more of an issue of bad audio mixing in this case. He speaks while loud sound effects and music overpower his voice.

It's basically cheesy steampunk with the guy who wants to be the next Vincent Price trying to narrate one long trailer.


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