Friday, 22 April 2016
The Ego Death - Rough Cut 4 (2016)
The film opens with a man (Jonas) staring intensely into the camera/mirror, which is then followed by the text "7 Days Till The World Ends". We then follow Jonas over the next several days while he is groomed by and cult and waiting for his world to end.
Superficially, it seems that The Ego Death is about how cults and religions can control a person by preying on their weaknesses - in this case Jonas' mental state after his girlfriend leaves him. Looking a little deeper and, as the title describes, it's about the ego and what happens to us if that much needed layer that controls our behaviour is removed? What if the id is all that is left - our base instincts and primitive urges? Does the cult even exist or is this Jonas' method of dealing with his mental collapse?
The B&W photography is stark and the shots are very nicely framed with a good feel for space. There is minimal dialogue, which is good as Gordon Woodward's (Jonas) delivery is a little stilted and this is highlighted by the strong performance given by Robert Prowse as Evan, the cult leader. The soundtrack provides a continual feeling of tension and reminded me a little of Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Band with their long, circular drones.
Overall, a well-shot and interesting film. If there is a problem it would be that it's a little "on-the-nose", a little too obvious. A simple solution would be to retitle the film - this way you're not leading the viewer from the outset.