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Experimental Short Film: Goth Movie (Chemirocha)

Before the light there was darkness. A white-bearded wizard invites us into his dimly lit lair to hang with his mysterious friends in Jesse Malmed‘s magick-al Goth Movie (Chemirocha) before the film swerves into a desert travelogue, then back inside in a conceptually contrasting yet complementary whole.

The whole notion of practicing magick is, ostensibly, about connecting to the Earth. It’s not about the supernatural, but celebrating what’s super about the natural. (Ok, that’s kind of bad pun-ny, but lets stick with it.) Malmed makes this allusion by giving us brief glimpses of the denizens of a dark interior space, then our introduction to the exterior desert space is a focusing on the gaping maw of an entrance into a cave. Are the wizard — who, by the way, really gives a fantastic, piercing look as if he can actually see the viewer — and his cohorts performing their magick rituals inside that cave, out of the sun by close enough to be influenced by it.

Malmed captures some great landscapes of the desert rock faces, including entrances to several other caves, before switching back to extremely shadowy interiors filled with non-magick-al type beings. This section most of all resembles snippets from a home movie, even though the heavy fading to black mimics the style of big blockbuster mainstream action movie trailers.

Thus, Goth Movie (Chemirocha) works as a conjuring of magick forces through cinematic activity. No, there’s not the stylized rituals of a Kenneth Anger film, e.g. the ceremony scenes of Invocation of My Demon Brother or the deliberate gestures of the gods of Lucifer Rising, but there still be magick in these here parts.

In addition to making films, Jesse Malmed works as an underground film curator and does a lot of writing about experimental films and the avant-garde online. For your guide to all things Malmed, please visit his website. He’s a busy dude who does great work.

White bearded wizard

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