A collection of strange and surreal short films taken from Cinéma Abattoir screenings.
"Incarnation" is the second compilation DVD from Cinéma Abattoir, the first being "L'Erotisme". It comes wrapped in butcher's wrap, and when you open it up you see a DVD cover with no information what so ever. It's just burned flesh and clothes. It looks really cool, and with the butcher's wrap on, it's awesome to have on display. The films are taken from their infamous screenings, and the way to explain them all in one word would be "Art". These shorts are as surreal and artistic as it gets, and putting them all together on one DVD is a brilliant idea. We usually split collection DVD into several different reviews, one for each film, but I felt that this DVD as a whole deserved to be reviewed, and same will probably go for the other Cinéma Abattoir collections. The DVD consists of 9 short films. Although, after the last one there's a long period where it's all black, and then a 22 minutes long film starts. I don't count this as being part of the compilation for the facts that it's not listed on the shorts list that came with the DVD, and it's pretty much just a bunch of random footage (you could argue that some of the shorts are too though). If the film only had the 9 shorts and nothing else, the total runtime would just be 80 minutes, and now with the 22 minute film and the black period inbetween, we get 112 minutes. Quite a heavy runtime for something like this, but there's no problem getting through it, because it never becomes boring.
"Les Souffrances d'un oeuf meurtri" is the first short, and it's about 15 minutes long. Being the first one of the bunch, my mind wasn't really in the mindset of this kind of films yet. However, that might not be an excuse, 'cause the film is weird and hard to understand either way. This short was the only one that was made before 2002 (the others were '02 - '07). This one was made 1967 to be exact, and even though many of the films kind of has the same look, this one definitely had an older overall feel to it. Exactly like other old avant-garde films, this one has plenty of unexplained events and just a bunch of random things that you can't understand how or why they came up with. We have stuff like blood being dripped onto a fried egg (and then some being dripped on a female nipple), and then all of the sudden we have a naked girl that is laying on the grass, with green light pointed at her. We get to see her in different angles before being shown that her vagina is covered in maggots and next to it is a crucifix.
The next film is "Catharsis", and this is probably one of my three favorites (although the female shots in the last short were pretty cool) of this collection. It's only 3 minutes long and is mostly made out of still pictures that together gives us movement. The short shows us a man who kills another version of himself. After being killed, history repeats itself, except he dies a different way. The first way he's killed is by getting cut and stabbed. The second is by a drill to the head. This was the only one that features anything that could be considered gore, so that was a big plus that this film had over the rest.
"Pandrogeny Manifesto" is the name of the third one, and this is the one that is the easist to understand, solely for the fact that it's actually just a couple who are talking about themselves. The couple is Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (born Neil Andrew Megson) and his wife. This is actually a real couple (although the wife died a while back), and this short is about that they tried to become one. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has gone through surgery to slowly but surely look exactly like his wife. They talk about what they think of sexes and how God created us, and also about what they want to be, "Pandrogyne". The third entity, which is apparently NOT a third gender. It's really strange, but what makes this so interesting is the way they read their manifesto to eachother, and knowing that it's all based on reality makes it all so bizarre.
These three are probably the ones I feel I have the most to say about. Except for those, we have: "Theocordis", which is a bunch of Christian images mixed in with random shows of a naked woman. "Pantelia", that has been subtitled "Meditations on the Number 10". This is an interesting short about the number 10. "Pinhole Flames" is a prime example of transgressive cinema. "Burn" is one of my favorites, and it has a house on fire and the people inside it just keep on living there. Reading, relaxing, sleeping. It has a really creepy scene where a guy lights a bed on fire while a girl sleeps in it, and she just continues to sleep. There's something weird about that scene. "Western Sunburn" is a bunch of western footage that looks like it was shown on a really old projector. The footage slowly burns up. Now the last one, "Convulsion Expulsion". Wow. This was another favorite. It has a girl all painted in white, with bandages around her head. Everything is white, even the sleeping dress she's wearing and the room she's standing in. All except for her blood. At first she starts bleeding from her vagina, and then some oily and thick blood starts pouring from her mouth. By now she's getting undressed, and we have a naked girl standing on all four when all of the sudden blood squirts out of her ass. Something which we get to see in great detail. Mix this with nightmare-ish music and weird repeated and speeded up movements and you have something really fucked up.
"Incarnation" is one hell of a surreal DVD that I recommend to anyone who's interested in art house films. The films are beautiful in their own ways, and together with a haunting soundtrack they become something outstanding, even when it's just a bunch of western film footage burning up. Watch this if you ever get the chance, but don't expect it to be as sick and outrageous as the "Convulsion Expulsion" short.