The Lack (2014) |Cinema Made in Italy 2015

February 21st, 2015
Author: Meredith Taylor

Directors: Nicolò Massazza and Iacopo Bedogni

70mins  Experimental | Drama |  Italian

Women’s suffering has long been the subject of World cinema and particularly in Italy. Curiously titled The LACK is a semi-experimental mood piece that plays a tune with four different themes: abandonment, separation, courage and exertion and their effects on six isolated female characters. With minimal dialogue and some sumptuously inventive camera effects, a visual narrative explores their inner journey of loneliness, discovery and eventually, self-healing in natural surroundings.

Best known for their work as video artists, directing duo Nicolò Massazza and Iacopo Bedogni call themselves THE MASEBO. A metaphor for survival, their film concentrates on sound and visuals to express the palpable emotions of their female protagonists as they grapple with the reality of life. The opening scenes play out like a slick advert for Volvo:, a woman wakes up abandoned in a bedroom and tries desperately to call her lover without success. In tears and distraught, she takes to the road and drives recklessly through a vast and frozen snowscape with only a flimsy white gown to protect her from the elements. As she leave sthe vehicle, the camera follows her in close-up and slow-mo, painting an ethereal picture of ice blue alienation against the windswept wasteland.

The second segment studies an Oriental beauty alone inside a massive ferry boat. Seawater gushes against ancient rock formations and craggy cliffs as waves wash over the echoing steel plates of the hull. Escaping to the shoreline she is warmed by the setting sun. Only her sighs of exertion and the mournful sound of the seagulls are audible in the marine wilderness as she installs a large searchlight on the cliff face, illuminating the approaching night.

Part 3 is set in remote Steppes of Russia where an enormous pipeline is carrying oil or gas from an inland refinery, belching smoke creates puffy clouds into the endless skyline. A woman flights for survival swaddled in furs. Another woman floats flotsom-like in the aftermath of flood desperately clinging to domestic detritis in possibly the most conceptual segment which is intercut with images of a little girl dressed in white. The final segment is probably the most bleak. The weaker sex emerges tough yet vulnerable, suffering throughout.

MASEBO have exhibited their work in museums and film festivals as well, such as Venice, Locarno, Rome, Istanbul, Lisbon, Athens, Miami and Reykjavik. Since 2002 they have been working with the French writer Michel Houellebecq with whom they have written and produced 11.22.03 and THE WORLD IS NOT A LANDSCAPE, video art piece with Juliette Binoche, it had its premier in Paris at the Grand Palais.



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