This was recommended to me as adventurous cinema and knowing a previous film by the same maker I jumped at the opportunity. That film was all about the serial eye lusting for contact in the night it causes, and this is extended here in a film about a girl (a prostitute in a seedy club) and various men who lust for contact, how the lust for contact becomes spectacle that dehumanizes.
This broader lust is the delusion of mind. A conventional story does exist in some outer world we can discern (about girls stolen from some village in Kossovo and sold as prostitutes) but all that reaches us is in this state of delusion is a stream of consciousness, the hallucinative ebb and comingling of memory and desire.
It's neither pretentious as some say nor radically new; it would be the first if it was presented as we see out of some unrecognizable caprice to strut difference as insight. Instead it's tooled this way so we can experience with our eyes the participants' confusion, agony, hurt, by losing the larger world in which things acquire their proper place and swim instead in a fluid mindstream.
A long history supports it that goes all the way back to silent film, the film is a modern silent in essence, words are few, experiments in seeing are everything. Two were the most defining modes in the 20s; one was DW Griffith's that evolved from Kurosawa to Kubrick and Spielberg, destinies on a historic stage. The other was Epstein's, this is from his genealogy where life is flow, and characters are globs of color that smear and saturate the air.
There are many such impressions here that saturate outwards from inside, a devilish dance between seductor and lithe victim in a club, harrowing images of copulation near the end. But I'm reminded again that the nihilist is our saddest loss. The whole is an essay on ego, the deluded ego that clings to desire, the suffering caused by ego, the horror of the suffering; this is all in the abstract experience of what contorts space, no themes is explained to us. But you must want the way that leads out of them again.
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