A disturbing, surprising and wonderful student film
I had the chance to see "Onno de Onwetende" during the 27th European First Film Festival, in the "Student Films" program. This competition included many interesting movies (particularly "Las Pequeñas Cosas" by Carla Simon Pipó and "Loop Ring Chop Drink" by Nicolas Menard) but there was one movie that stood out of the others : "Onno", because it's one of these movies that look like none other.
The first minutes of this movie are very surprising: we see a tornado of aesthetic images without real link between them. Onno, the main character, is trying to remember when he felt a strange feeling for the first time, a feeling which obsesses him. Shots and archive images succeed quickly: we are in the head of Onno, in his mind and in his memories. There are a camera obscura, a church, a naked man running on the beach, a phone booth in a forest...
We don't really understand what is happening and then, there was his father's disease and the narrator who told us that it doesn't make any sense and so, this movie either. So, we accept it. We accept that this film may have no logic and we accept to be caught by this flow of images where our role is completely contemplative.
The story evolves during the film. There is the disease of the father but also a love story. And Onno runs. He runs to catch that elusive feeling or maybe just to escape his reality. Onno runs from memories to memories, he runs in the past, he runs until to break the fourth wall.
I will not develop here about the final act of the story which surprised many people in the movie theater. I will just say that for me, it makes perfect sense : things are just things, this film is just a film and it's natural that the movie ends in a cinema. Because "Onno" is like the cinematography itself : beautiful, visceral and surprising.
Undoubtedly, "Onno", is one of the most interesting films of 2014. But this kind of short movie is very little diffused outside film festivals, so, if you have the opportunity to see it, don't hesitate: even if you don't like the choices of direction, you will see one of the strangest film of this early decade.