EROS AND WONDER (R. Bruce Elder) Rating: NNNN
Audiences who insist on straightforward content should avoid Bruce Elder’s in-person presentation of Eros And Wonder – unless, of course, hallucinogens are on the menu.
A prominent figure on the avant-garde scene since the late 70s, the local filmmaker/professor/critic built a following with his Book Of All The Dead film cycle, which Cinematheque is currently screening in sections through mid-March.
Eros And Wonder is Elder’s answer to the current debate on whether computer and Internet technology should break away from narrative and embrace experimentation. In other words, leave the storytelling to the books and give the iPod generation something novel to wrap their heads around.
In the 2002 film, footage of German architecture, natural landscapes and a naked female body shot from every imaginable angle is tinted, scratched, soiled and processed through video technology. The grainy visuals and frenetic editing are accompanied by a scroll of religious poetry that abandons words along the way and a voice-over that is synthesized into alien noise.
At times it’s like seeing the world as Neo did at the end of The Matrix, through a whole lot of computer jargon.
The film’s most natural and intelligible elements are the shots of the woman, which establish a connection between the viewer and the body amidst the surrounding techno noise.
Throughout, Elder’s film offers beauty and wonder, but always on his own terms. Screens Saturday (February 16) at Cinecycle, with the filmmaker in attendance.