Saturday, March 8, 2008

Film Fanaddict reviews “CODEX ATANICUS”

David Carter reviews “CODEX ATANICUS” for Film Fanaddict.

“Experimental/avant-garde cinema is a foreign concept to most people, including even most cinema lovers. Usually this is through no fault of their own; most experimental films that make it to DVD rarely get much attention, if any. When they do show up on DVD it’s most often on anthology discs like CODEX ATANICUS from Spanish director Carlos Atanes. Atanes is considered one of Spain’s foremost science fiction directors (look for a review of his feature film PROXIMA here at Film Fanaddict soon) but prior to moving to features he made several well-regarded experimental shorts. Three of them are included in this collection: METAMINDS & METABODIES, MORFING, and WELCOME TO SPAIN.

All three are non-narrative to a large degree but at least have a central theme in place of plot elements. The possible exception to this is MORFING, which contains a sequence before the short featuring the director as he frets over getting funding and stars for the piece. MORFING is the key to understanding these three works as it shows Atanes himself exploring many of his subjects in a tongue-in-cheek manner. It is the second piece on the disc but by far the most accessible, so you might want to watch it first. Atanes takes a Lynchian approach to filmmaking and curiously even physically resembles Lynch to a degree. The actual piece MORFING is a very brief exploration of the mind and the body; Atanes’ two most prevalent themes.”


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