Read an exclusive interview with Polish filmmaker Słavomir Batyra, director of THE GREAT THEATRE. He will guide you through the recesses of his short film just like his film guides the viewers through the recesses of the largest opera house in the world. Would you like some opera tickets or rather cinema ones? What about taking both?
My computer // Maj Kompjutr (Orig.)
Czech Republic / 32 min
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In the end scene of the film, the director-narrator - computer-modulated voice is throwing the PC monitor away, into water. The monitor is being devoured by water. This is a fourteen-inch monitor, therefore none of the luxury monitors on which the film's characters are playing thegame Age of Empires. Nothing against the fourteen-inches, they can also be used to play the strategy, and moreover, they symbolize the computer underground. But in the context of the film the scene with the dumped false monitor constitutes the last and sealing symptom ofthe surface and of a motion proceeding thereon.
The film has brought this artful sliding over life which in fact does not exist, the absence ofany cognition or life experience, a mere animal fullness of emptied images, to a degree of perfection such that it itself becomes a pureembodiment of the spirit of a part of one generation for which the energy of seeking has been dissolved in an imitation - the sole manifestation of life is the reiterated motif of befouling. The characters could not have been better chosen: Igor Chaun the documentaries and commercialsdirector, Martin Válek the concert violonist, and Václav Salmon the seller of erotic cassettes and aids.
A director who has been shooting filmsabout the Dalai Lamai as well as life insurance commercials, who has resigned on the differentiation of values having self-confidentlydissolved his talent in products intended for sale, a violonist who plays at the Rudolfinum for a gaudy bourgeois audience, and a melancholy boxer who sells veiny penises, plastic vaginas, and other instruments inducing auto-sexual orgasms in the gloom of his shop. And thedirector then is their substitute, that is, their alternate who knows that he is shooting a film even about himself.
His documentary is anorchestration of their joint droopiness, a film which precisely imitates the language of those of whom it speaks, and does it so well that to thefuture it will be a surviving testimony of an incipient virtuality and of the meaninglessness of meanings, a film which by its eclecticism has consciously barred the road to the specifics of artistic communication, a document presenting a mere description of a symbol, rather thana roadmap to deciphering it.
We meet three (four) men, their living quarters and PCs and their common diversion consisting in playing thestrategy game Age of Empires, either over a network or simply by interconnecting their computers during a protracted night of drunkards. Each of them describes what has brought him to playing the game - this is my boyhood dreams come true, I got hooked on it knowing it wasa shit, I like playing games. The individual snapshots from the apartments are then linked together by a mosaic of insights showing the individual players in action, and in parallel we can see them sitting at their computers and commenting on their passion. The are building atown and castles; are generating troopers; are connecting across a zone with other players all over the world. In addition we also can view them while resting: an orchestra audition, the sales of stimulating aids for solitary straddlers, reading of spiritual texts.
The film culminatesin a joint night ride in a sex shop and a washroom-type self-reflection of the Director. By its simulation this film is reminiscent of thetransforming phenomenon of culture, its dilution and filtering to a conservative sterility which, paradoxically, is so typical of the mainstreamwhich constitutes today's cyberspace.
|Dir. of Photography||David Marvan|
Address: Smetanovo nábřeží 2
City: 11000 Praha 1
Country: Czech Republic