Friday, August 20, 2010

Honourable mentions: Flow

One of the great things about vampires is that they can turn up anywhere. This was a 1996 experimental film by director Quentin Lee. He had been producing some short films and decided to bind them together in a portmanteau format by having a filmmaker (Ted Szeto) talk about making his films (ie the ones we are to see). This created a satisfying wraparound for some very divergent films.

The films are very different in style and content. Matricide, for instance, is a twisted form of the film noir. There is an astounding film about a virus which was spread in bodily fluids and then became airborne and finally becomes word-borne rendering English obsolete. At the other end of the scale there is the touching, and narrative conventional, story of the friendship between a straight and a gay roommate as the gay roommate finds his first real love.

the vampires recycle their blood
The vampire piece is called “Key in the Heart” and, candidly it is difficult to explain what was going on in there. Lee himself called it “totally crazy and all over the place”. The story centres upon two vampires (Francis Acquas and Jeremy Maxwell). Lee again explains that they are tied into a relationship where they have to recycle each others blood. Actually this translates, on screen, into a languidness that was reminiscent of the atmosphere created in the Hunger.

the heroine
Time is shown to be almost irrelevant as a girl, the heroine (Paulino Tamayo), comes into their lives. One of the vampires is killed, whilst trying to feed on the other, by having his heart removed and said organ is thrown away. However the key literally is in the heart. The key to what? Her redemption, their demise, an end to the meaningless flow of time… or all of the above? Lee leaves it to the viewer to decide. An intriguing, if very brief, short in an excellent, if very surreal, film.

The imdb page is here.

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