Pathological Procedures: Visceral & Kaleidoscopic View Of Human Body Reduced To Scalpel Blade & More..
"I am convinced we are all voyeurs. It's part of the detective thing. We want to know secrets and we want to know what goes on behind those windows." -David Lynch, interviewed by Newsday, 1997. I wanted to begin with this quote as the line basically sums up my entire experience and evokes both awe and a grim feeling.
Before the film "De humani corporis fabrica" I was familiar with the filmography and worldview of director duo Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, I saw only two of their films "Leviathan" and "Caniba", and I confess, based on the assessment of only these films, I had very contradictory feeling about the style. After the first viewing of Caniba, I did not like it much and since the weird, uncanny, experimental cinema is my realm i mostly swim in. I felt the cinephiles hype didn't seem justified for "Caniba" but with their latest i must say the duo testing unorthodox methods of shooting and pushing the boundaries of what Cinema can and should be is commendable to create their own space.
A documentary on health system, a shockumentary, body horror, slapstick comedy and a few other tags that "De humani corporis fabrica" falls under, still cannot summarize all of its significance and genre nature for example the last sequence of doctors in the bar and the mutiple motifs in the scene. Taking inspiration from Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) 16th-century anatomist, physician, and author of one of the famous book De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543), the director duo have created a canvas that causes shock and awe. The surgery footages is presented so real with Cronenberg symbolism which literally permeates every frame.
Like i said the multi-genre feel instantly knocks the mind out of a comfortable slumber. It will be contrasting when surgeons perform operations when human body is reduced to scalpel blade, man playing god, ranting, discussing about the probability and possibility of the surgery. A Kaleidoscopic look at how human beings reborn after the anatomized, excoriated surgery of disfigurement combined with 21st century medical technology. The camera work is brilliant, it is visceral to witness all the colors they make when it turns macabre with every detail shown on the screen. Shocking to see behind the scenes of the health system, the crisis and many more commentary. I am not ready to revisit it for second viewing at the moment but will check it out sometime later and it might not have the same impact on me, maybe even stronger.
To summarize, those who accustomed to seeing Mondo films, Aroma Planning/ Baroque Studio and Shockumentaries, also those who watched Kiyotaka Tsurisaki's works, Susumu Saegusa films, Der Weg nach Eden (1995) by Robert-Adrian Pejo, John Alan Schwartz's Faces of Death (1978), A Certain Kind of Death (2003), Damon Fox's Faces of Death, Stan Brakhage's The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (1971) will appreciate this unsettling piece of work.