Monday, November 30, 2009

You've never seen a future like this

If you’re anything like me, you know the intensity of a good nightmare. No stranger to producing horror films in my sleep, I then struggle to describe my nightmares the next morning. How do you put into words... places that don’t exist and things that don’t make sense? How do you explain to someone a series of events that defy words—without boring them to death?

The 2007 French film, “Eden Log,” manages to bring all the confusion and darkness, the inexplicability of a nightmare, to film. From the start, an incomprehensible puzzle presents itself to Tolbiac (Clovis Cornillac), as he awakens in a muddy, cold, dark cave. We experience what he does, as he does, at a sometimes painstakingly slow pace.

Though the film tests our tolerance with a repetitive and uneventful first 20 minutes, it’s worth the experience to endure this for what lies beyond. Completely clueless as to where he is, what’s he’s doing there, and how he got there, he just keeps moving, upward, from what seems to be an impossibly deep system of caves, far underground.

Clues come in the form of random encounters and electronic video images, propelling him onward, towards some unknown but anticipated revelation.

I see quite a bit of science fiction and I believe this is one of the most original interpretations of a bleak future I have ever seen. There are no cliches here, no familiar futuristic conventions. This has got to be unlike anything you have ever seen before, awake or asleep.

The ending is open to interpretation and can even be quite confusing. And there was something about the audio that made it seem as though the film were dubbed into English. Still, it’s highly original premise and completely unpredictable plot make it one to see. That is, if you’re a fan of dark, foreboding dreams.