Film Comment Selects 2012

Mortem

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Mortem
Eric Atlan, 2010
France | Format: Digital | 94 minutes

Director Eric Atlan in person!

Describing itself as “a metaphysical thriller,” Eric Atlan’s crepuscular trance film takes inspiration from Bergman’s Persona and Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., but casts an uncanny spell that’s all its own. The film begins with its protagonist, Jena (Panchenko Daria), hurtling through the countryside on a motorcycle. As night falls, a mysterious doppelgänger (Diana Rudychenko) begins to shadow her, but it’s only after Jena checks into a near-deserted hotel and finds herself unable to leave her room that this second, equally ravishing woman becomes visible to her. In the unearthly, at times erotic psychodrama that plays out between the two women (one blonde, one brunette), Jena defies her own soul as she hovers at the threshold of life and death. Shooting in black-and-white scope using the RED ONE camera, and closely collaborating with co-writer Marie-Claude Dazun, director Eric Atlan devises a precisely calibrated mise-en-scène within the confines of a single room and, aided by his two actresses, orchestrates an emotional crescendo from Mortem’s unearthly battle of wills. With the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Series: Film Comment Selects 2012

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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