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Our Lives Are Not Our Own
by Brian Yandle

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Nacho Cerda has been a huge name on the short film circuit for many years for his works which deal primarily with the dreaded subject of death. Perhaps no other director comes to mind when we think of the fascinating topic which has enthralled people from all cultures throughout the course of humankind. It is not uncommon or unheard of to dwell on the various aspects of crossing over or what really happens when we make that traumatic journey from our earthly residence into the unknown. Nacho Cerda has crafted what many should deem to be silent cinema for the new era & his vision is unparalleled in my book.

With only three short films, Cerda has captured the most beautiful yet disturbing images on film by means of a limited budget. Like many great directors who are virtually struggling in the dog-eat-dog industry, Nacho refuses to compromise his style in hopes of any commercial success but rather chooses to illustrate some mysteries of death through the use of film. Only the
viewers themselves can be a judge of how well he achieves this goal but I'd say the man has surpassed my expectations in nearly every way possible. Personally, I would suggest watching them in order.

The first short film is completely B&W & might even remind one of old Twilight Zone shows on TV or perhaps something more modern like a student film one could come across in college. Although shot on a mere shoestring budget, Cerda really makes the most of every cent here by giving us a chilling view of a young man who awakes to find everyone in his class room frozen. Although the short film does end on a rather somber or tragic note, the viewer is then consoled with the image of a beautiful angel standing in the doorway ready to take the recently deceased into another realm.

What happens to our bodies when we leave this plane of existence? After all, our bodies are merely just shells that we are only borrowing or renting for a brief time span & one day we will depart from
them even though I hate to think of such a hideous notion. The spirit itself will take that final step off the platform we know as life & hopefully make it's way onto a better place. At this point in time, we are no longer in control of what takes place regarding our bodies. Even though our souls may be granted that final destination, the human remains are merely at the mercy of another human.

Aftermath is a rather gruesome, if not uber-gory short film which seems to be all the rage with lovers of extreme cinema or just plain gore hounds in need of a fix. Within a mere 30 minutes, you will need to brace yourself for some of the most ugly images one could ever imagine as a coroner carries out his grisly deeds on a cadaver after another coroner has already left the building. Mind you, we are subjected to a rather interesting display of what an actual autopsy might be like & the inevitable unpleasantries of the entire ordeal. I won't go into any specifics here of course but I
will tell you that the unspeakable acts committed in this autopsy room are not easily forgotten & are almost unwatchable. There is nothing here at the beginning nor the end to provide any solace or comfort unfortunately.

The final short film entitled Genesis is perhaps the most beautiful work of all. Even though the end result is anything but what a Cerda fan might expect, it's perhaps my favorite short film of the three. A sculptor tries desperately to deal with the sorrow in his life after recently losing his wife in an automobile accident. Unable to cope with his loss, he begins to sculpt a statue which closely resembles his deceased love. As the sculpture becomes more life-like, the sculptor begins to lose his own life. Although tragic & even a tad shocking, it's a beautifully filmed work of art that was praised by many upon it's premiere at the Montreal's Fantasia film festival.

* Sorry, no captions this time around. I would prefer that the photos speak for themselves.

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Sinema Infatuated Junkie
Every other Saturday

Dissecting artwork be it trash cinema or tomorrow's cult classic wannabes & spreading the knowledge on how to distinguish the real from the reels. Exploring unchartered territories throughout history of film-making which have been overlooked & simply deserve a second chance.

Other Columns
Other columns by Brian Yandle:

Interview With Lucifer Valentine

Interview with Filmmaker Toby Ross

Zombies Will Eat Us

100 Movies to See Before You Die Pt. 2

100 Movies to See Before You Die Pt. 1

All Columns

Brian Yandle
If Pan met Apollo down with the sin, I would be amongst the angels who descended to Earth with great mission to seek newfound meaning & to explore great sinema. Brian was born in 1974 ofcourse on the NC/VA border & has been watching movies for as far back as he can remember. One should never forget a great movie nor pass up the chance to spread the word on a bad one.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Brian Yandle by clicking here.

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