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Sebastian, a loner artist, photographer and filmmaker spends his days in the seediness of life's elements. Taking pictures, photographing violent acts and spending a lot of time watching homemade films filled with jarring imagery, Sebastian also happens to be his building's landlord. He has also suffered an abused childhood, being subjected to sleep deprivation and constant home videos. Things begin to change for him when apartment tenant, Sarah Roeg, begins to take interest in his work and Sebastian himself.Written by
Visually hypnotic tale suspended greatly between extreme Horror and Art House
"House of Flesh Mannequins" is a nostalgic homage – and sure amused – that winks at the classic films from the 70's. A movie set that look like a stage (and the film itself is divided in 3 Acts), searched costumes and hairdos, cinematography of Mirco Sgarzi that recalls with personality the atmospheres of the best Fulci and Argento's movie. This is cinema made from who loves the cinema, a movie rich of winks and citations that the most expert (but not only them) will be amused to pick: from Lynch to the surrealism of the 30's, passing trough Fulci and Cronenberg. International porn stars and regular actors working together for the first time with extreme body art performers used in the torture scenes. Everything is real, but at the same time, everything is done for the purpose of creating a movie, which is anything but real. The movie presents a compelling case against the use of gratuitous violence on TV as well as the self-righteous, sanctimonious ways that society chooses to confront children's issues.
I just watched this movie, and, was touched , frankly almost stunned, by Domiziano ARCANGELI's performance : was simply the nature of the character who so compulsive, damaged, broken up, and teared apart by an abusive past he can never leave behind, as if he was almost incapable to shake it off: it is ultimately that morbid perversion that makes eventually the movie itself become such an over all powerful depiction of the pity ( and of its truly provocative means) since it appears to be pretty impossible today for many to detach from that dangerous hidden indulgence we all- in different ways- spend by consuming either P*rn, or violent, forbidden material, or mere mainstream voyeurism, such as Reality TV, a phenomenon, the movie targets very cleverly : if all of a sudden, someone becomes famous and wealthy, maybe, even by just exploiting themselves, and/or their lives, then in that case, some may even be able to get away with murder, while, instead, the really frail, abused ones, not so accepted by most, like Sebastian ( which Domiziano Arcangeli brings here to life, with an almost disturbing realism, power, thanks also to his unusual traits, and deep, mysterious eyes), generally end up paying the bill for most, here meaning in particular, a corrupted, disjointed, and, ultimately so unfair society, that has become increasingly insensitive, and dangerously closed, almost as a perpetual enemy to any form of more personal, genuinely honest consideration over real existential torments, but also, so inconsiderate toward all people who allow themselves to be vulnerable, and, so even simply more human, to the point of poignantly creating such profound, insightful questions over the whole plot of this movie, which ultimately I have found so beautifully poetic, and extremely well made: a real punch in the stomach for most, that doesn't for once feel simply as your typical attempt at scaring audiences with scenes, but, that may be certainly, and by far, some of the most realistically raw, brutal, and shocking piece I have ever even seen before, always keeping a lyrical tone that's sublimate by a great, ground breaking direction from dark Domiziano Cristopharo here delivering controversial or graphic material as in form of a poem, a bit like in Pasolini's "Salo". Irena A. Hoffman is a powerhouse: her performance is just fantastic and her looks are honestly so gorgeous that can melt your heart, while breaking your dreams of being a man. She succeeds to bring to life a new type of 'femme fatales', and, she's gritty and unapologetic. All the rest of the cast is a mix bag of interesting faces from the underground, from pornographic movies, and so called "modified performers" who for real cut themselves in real time and it's raw, visible, absurd, and at the same time, somewhat genius: they all deeply touch the subconscious of those still interested in truly understanding what's between good and evil, and, to those who'd still like to connect with this movie, while, leaving home any sort of moralistic Puritanism, trying instead to embrace its deep story, with empathy, and, human consideration for all of those who suffer while surviving lives way darken than even the above, and, way passed and beyond the edge of those we may be simply more familiar with, and, always asking ourselves not to immediately label them, as simply bad, or atrocious, or just way too far from us, but, again to tune in into a movie that is simply asking us to listen to all: i believe you'd be surprised what a moral lesson "House of Flesh Mannequins" is capable to deliver within its darkest lights and trembling, shaking grip to reach out to our feelings.
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