Genesis (1998)

DVD Cover (Unearthed Films)
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Overall Rating 71%
Overall Rating
Ranked #5,220
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Pep Tosar
Pep Tosar
Trae Houlihan
Trae Houlihan
Review by Tristan
Added: September 04, 2008
A little over a month ago I reviewed the Nacho Cerda short film Aftermath. It was a beautiful albeit disturbing film about a twisted mortician and what he liked to do with the corpses after hours. Cerda took a slightly different approach to his film Genesis, creating yet again another beautiful film without all the gore and controversial content that had people so repulsed by the first short film. It's a very simple concept, but Cerda is able to use his brilliant camera work and powerful music to bring this story to life.

After his wife (Trae Houlihan) is killed in a car accident, a sculptor (Pep Tosar) becomes obsessed with creating his wife over and over again out of clay. When he finally finishes his best one, he discovers a thin trickle of blood running out of it. As time goes on, more and more orifices open up until small chunks of the clay begin to fall away, revealing flesh underneath. While all of this is going on, his body begins to grow a thin layer of clay over the same spots the statue is losing. As more of the statue crumbles and falls away, the sculptor becomes more and more like that of what he creates. As you've probably gathered, the film ends with the statue becoming completely human, while the sculptor catches one last glance before becoming a complete statue himself. Whereas Aftermath was a look at the body and spirit immediately after death, Genesis takes a different approach - examining the effects of death on the living's emotions and how they come to terms with them.

I know what you're thinking. Cheesy right? Something out of a child's movie? Not in the least, my friends. Sure, the piece-of-art-coming-to-life isn't exactly the newest idea, but it's just done too well to ignore. You are immediately sympathetic towards the poor sculptor who does nothing but mourn his lost love day and night. Since this film had no dialogue, it relied completely on music, camera work and the actor's body language. Pep Tosar is a very talented actor, and was able to tell a beautiful story without uttering a single word. I wouldn't go nominating him for an Oscar or anything, but he was absolutely what this film needed. Luckily, this film was also perfect in the music department. While not using as much classical music as the first film, it made use of a very powerful and new age score to express the emotions of the mourning sculptor. A film of this nature has to get the music right in order for the audience to connect with and enjoy it, and I'm very pleased to say it did just that.

It's not flawless, but it was damn close. My only major beef: I didn't care much for the music-video style dream sequences. They really took away from the overall feel of the movie, I felt. The camera was almost always stationary, and was shots of the sculptor's work, his home, things like that. Leave it to Cerda to make a shot of a tub or kitchen counter look beautiful. But this was all thrown out the window with the aforementioned dream sequences. The camera darted all over the place, and was really just annoying. I know I'm nitpicking here, but it was just a shame that for all his efforts, this one little scene bothered me enough to keep the film from getting a perfect rating.

This actually ended up being my favourite film of the whole bunch. I had originally purchased this DVD for the gross-out factor, but quickly found Cerda's films to be very unique and, quite frankly, masterpieces. As it turns out, bloodier isn't always better, and I much preferred this film to the previous one. As I stated earlier, had it not been for the annoying dream sequence, this would have definitely deserved a perfect score.

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