Helping oneself, helping others?

"Code Blue"
written and directed by Urszula Antoniak

Code Blue is another film I recently did not get. Probably due to my own limitations. Anyway, with all respect to technical accomplishments, the film's view of the world is so weird that to connect with me it would need to have a bridge of some sort. I did not find such a connection on the screen, or in between the shots. The moodiness and the mastery of the sound design and the visuals are indeed convincing but then there is a story itself and the characters that override the achievements of the filmic background.

Instead of going further into the world of the characters, everything seems to be designed to be weird, to upstage extremes found in other movies (the director talks about the rape scene in The Irreversible - that’s one of my favorite movies ever) as the orientation point for a brutal encounter depicted in her film. Regardless if the director wants to oppose it or follow, it paints her references. She gets trapped in the viscous circle of trying to upstage the shocking that has already been done before.

When Lars von Triers, one of the co-producers of the film, enters the unusual, the dark and the disturbing the results usually reach out from the screen with some understanding and empathy. Urszula Antoniak just screams (in a soft voice) and multiplies the unbearable for the hell of it.

The tragic personal departure point for her film is indeed heart breaking but I am not sure if she has managed to make her despair universal. As it is the film only oozes coldness, death and separation.

In one of the interviews (with Ola Więcka in Wysokie Obcasy from the 21 of January) Antoniak elaborating on the fact that there is very little dialogue in the film says:

“People seldom use language to say something. Of course language can be used to express emotions, to share them but more often it serves to lie about reality. Language is a tool for hiding things, for showing oneself in a better light, it leads to a theater of the word. That’s why on the screen I am more interested in body language.”

Studying the film with such a perspective will most likely reveal its deeper layers.

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