Diego Lozano’s 'MORTEM' is that kind of movie that has no wrong answers. Everything you ask about it is true; a four minute dream that's both breathtaking and eerie!
Unlike other short experimental movies we have had the chance to watch in our competition so far, 'MORTEM' has a very well drawn plot so as the viewer would not feel out of place while watching it. As it is presented, 'MORTEM' is about “a man with blood on his hands stands looking down. A mysterious woman awakens in black and resembles a skeleton. The woman sees the man and realizes it’s her husband. Joyed, she goes to him, but finds out the awful truth: that in a state of twisted lust he had killed her. Heartbroken, the woman turns back realizing she has entered the kingdom of the dead.”
While the exact meanings of many of the symbols are probably deliberately obscure, it strongly suggests some general themes such as desire, frustration, and hate. The main character realises what happened minutes after he committed the crime.
The symbols presented in 'MORTEM' are very powerful as well as meaningful – the glossy blood, death presented as a beautiful woman smoking a black cigarette, the loud music – everything is there to enhance the morbid mood of the short in a unique way. In the old times of experimental movies, filmmakers used for their films soundtracks made by Wagner and other composers that juggled with the minor chords in their music. Coming to our post-modern times, only the music changed, but the moods remained the same.
'MORTEM' is a dream. It is that kind of dream fuelled by angst and sadness. The images may be as disconnected as in any dream, but the logic behind them is rooted in the aesthetic philosophies of the great Surrealists artists.
This film can never age. For us, the power expressed is similar to Bunuel’s 'Un Chien Andalou' and that is not something you see every day.
Written by Vlad A. G