- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Fire

Also known as:
Fuego (Original title)

Year: 2014

Genre: Short / Experimental / Arthouse

Language: N/A

Runtime: 4 min

Director: Jonathan Ostos Yaber

Writer: Jonathan Ostos Yaber


Dream meets reality when a woman takes a pill and finds herself catches on fire.

Our thoughts:
"Fire" is an exercise in visual experimentation, where a filmmaker seems to have had a very specific idea in mind and pushed to get it out on the canvas. It's highly appropriate that the short uses painted effects mixed in with the CGI, as there's no better comparison than that of a surrealist painting. It's mixing live-action film with paint, the real with the surreal, to bring forth the metaphors and feelings which this story-lacking experience is conveying.

Yes, it's lacking in story. I don't think a film like this uses story as much as it brings out emotions in its characters and the audience to say something. So it is without story, except that a woman takes a pill and she's thrown into a dreamstate whe she starts to burn, but it's absolutely saying something. Most people will be able to get something out of this, as the image of a woman catching on fire (with painted flames) or her eventual method of dealing with it, alone are strong, expressive images. If you consider that, I don't think it's important what the filmmaker wanted to say - or if he was even saying anything to begin with - but rather that you, the viewer, can take something out of it. Is she in ecstacy, agony or maybe enraged? It depends on how you decide to look at it.

Because this very tightly knit short mostly uses painted flames (and just a brief addition of CGI) to show the fire wander over the woman's body, it also forces you to let go of any perfections you might have expected. It looks odd, it stands out, that's a fact. It's something to take notice of, where only a CGI flame would stand out because it doesn't look right or real. This one doesn't try to, it tries to show an eye-catching image. It's rather pleasing to watch, no matter how disturbing the actual thought behind it is.

Yes, go watch this at Viewster Online Film Festival for free while you have a chance. It ends on September 25th 2014, so what are you waiting for? I shouldn't need to convince you about this one. You might get drowned in emotions, or you might just see a fun, visual experiment - but what's wrong with that?

Positive things:
- Aesthetically pleasing mix of painted flames and the female body.
- Speaks loudly despite lacking in story.
- A wonderful experience and experiment.

Negative things:
- Personally? Nothing, really. Some people won't care to look at this purely as art and might not see anything interesting in it. But I suspect that to be a small group of people.

Gore: 0.5/5
Nudity: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 4/5
Comedy: 0/5

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