It is quite hard to say what ‘Interruptus’ is in the first place. We have watched it several times, and each time we came up with different explanations or ideas. The short comes with a disclaimer that sums up the story: ‘He slept with her, but dreamt of him.’ The narrative is as simple as the disclaimer presents it, but the visuals are saying more than words can, and the eyes may perceive different sides of the story just by focusing on the right angle.
On the same screen, 'Interruptus' has different layers that are basically saying the same story, but each and every one of them in its own particular way. We were tempted to take each detail out of context and discuss it, but it doesn’t seem like it would do justice to the story as a whole. The main theme of Duane Michals' film is love, expressed in different forms, love that sometimes hurts just because it isn’t perceived right. ‘Interruptus’ is like a dream within a dream – it is like a canvas where there is already a painting, but one decides to paint over it, giving it a whole new meaning. The dreamy atmosphere comes from the negative effect used on the human activity in this short. There is nothing wrong with how each individual acts, but when combining the layers there is a controlled chaos, a silent scream of a mouth wide shut. We’ve seen the same feeling of desolation and extremely loud noise coming out of nowhere in Jean Michel Basquiat’s ‘Philistines’, a painting that renders an organized chaos.
Reality is distorted in ‘Interruptus’, and the viewer may be tricked by this strategy. It is not easy to understand this film – that is for sure - and we don’t see the point of this extreme degree of abstraction that at some extent may become annoying and hard to swallow… but art is art, and if it’s not for you, well... it’s not for you.
Written by Vlad A. G