|Dionysis in '69/Vers Mathilde|
I love when two unlikely artists share (some) abstract similarities.Claire Denis & Brian Depalma couldn't be any more different as far as I'm concerned so this (small) piece is a little unique.
|Dionysis in '69|
I don't know if Claire ever saw Depalma's early film but the parallels between the two movies are uncanny at times. While one film (Dionysis) is way more chaotic than the other (Vers Mathilde) the formatting alone is worthy of this imagery comparison piece.
Besides the split screen formatting, bodies are shot in the same unflinching manner, and the idea of what performance art can be is challenged in both films...
|Dionysis in '69|
If you showed me Dionysis blindly I would think it was a film directed by Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke or other experimental/anthology film archive-related filmmakers of that ilk. But certainly not Brian Depalma. At first glance this film fits nowhere in his filmography (not even his for-hire works like Home Movies). But after multiple viewings I’ve come to the realization that it not only fits in right alongside his more recognizable films, but it’s his only voyeuristic film that owes absolutely nothing to the style of Alfred Hitchcock (it goes without saying that the themes of spying & eves dropping in Depalma’s work comes directly from his infatuation with Alfred Hitchcock). I know documentaries are voyeuristic by default but the invasiveness of Depalmas camera in Dionysis is on another level. I mean…you can almost smell the B.O. coming off of the performers in the film (and can literally hear the pounding of their flesh banging up against each other).
Both of these films (which are under 85 minutes) would make an excellent double feature/study.