Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Glowing rib-like structures fall from above, glowing globes within, moonlight through cloud cover. Fleshy corpuscules, noise. A figure wanders with stripes cut in him, programme notes say he is 'Sliceman', call him protagonist, focus-point. 'Him' is a stretch, which his parts do, stubby legs and veins and dangling spines and other structures.

Through a landscape it walks, bodies at windows like Gunther Von Hagen's chain of affordable city-centre hotels, a wound infected with an oil-rig, systems of some flesh-matter endlessly inverting toroidal pumps, legs tucking in like vanes on a drunk turbine. A lurid electronic score, recalls Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, repeated features heavy footsteps leave one feeling like Rorschach, sickened by the flesh. A sepia flickered telescoping entity punches forth like a physiologist's nightmare, a 'family' inside the payload of a Studebaker penetrator jutting forth, erectile hyena clitorises like knights from a sally-port, lances dipped charging from a glassy-eyed pulsating visceropolis.

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Carcass windows, gyring hills at road's end, unity in the pulsating scrub, a flickering television showing looping advertisements for products that eroticise the mechanical recovery of meat. That last conjecture, neuron splatter; there are no direct cues here to culture, only windows, displays. Such sights, we have to show you. Xipe Totec wore his own skin, flayed from him and replaced. Sisyphus is his own stone. Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Ruedi Giger, Henry (Serial Killer, Portrait of A) have an itinerant pub quiz - this is the picture round. Their faces are replaced with the toothless maws of a matrioshka lamprey, sliding across themselves like a bacon conveyor belt.

Ondrej Svadlena the design, the animation. Digital, thankfully - there is not the meat to array before the cameras. Too hard to analyse how a mouse is touched. Guillaume Blondeau the score, current forced through muscle, analogue squelches, system protests. Occasional collaborator, this is not difficult second album but metier, mode, medium. Bethany Lacktorin the sound, thumps, pulses, a concussion.

Sepia flicker. There is a hole in the world. Electricity is made of knifecrime. After a while, I started hallucinating, and developed a tumor. I believe the visions caused the tumor, and not the other way around. Reminiscent of The Cell, that segmented horse and the notion of Jennifer Lopez as a fetish neuroscientist.

Partially disemvowelled, it recalls forum trolls, Primal Scream. Czech animation has its tendencies. Call it experimental film, lampshades of skin, meat dresses, unquiet, disease, disuse. Ten minutes, overlong, an ending certainly, brutality, grotesquery, eventually terminally. Put it on the television, give it footnotes. It is over and we are out of it. The point of reference is a bone, breaking the skin. Nausea, dizziness. In the screening one person applauded. The film or its end? Silence.

Reviewed on: 27 Feb 2011
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Slicemen struggle to get by amid terrifying shadows in the land of the murderchain.
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Director: Ondrej Svadlena

Writer: Ondrej Svadlena

Year: 2010

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: Czech Republic, France


Glasgow 2011

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