A few weeks back a trailer appeared on Vimeo eliciting “huh, what’s this?” kind of comments because it featured a guy’s elaborately painted face with thread attached to it like some kind of Gummo tribal warrior who’d just stepped out of a Konx-om-Pax music video. Fast forward a month and the full short film is out with an award attached from the Slamdance film festival for Special Jury Prize for Experimental Short.
The short’s called Solipsist and directed by Andrew Thomas Huang. It’s weird and creepy and it’ll no doubt freak you the hell out, but like sitting down to watch a Chris Cunningham video there’s an unholy-terror-that-will-plague-your-sleeping-and-waking-life appeal to it that taps into your subconscious mind and feeds it the disturbing snack that’s oh so good every once and a while.
It starts with two women sitting with their backs together who start painting one another in a swaying dance, as vine-like decorative material starts climbing around their bodies enveloping them with floral forms and feathers until they become a mound of tribal reefs swaying about. And that’s just the opening two and a half minutes. The rest features underwater puppets and men’s faces disintegrating into sand.
And, if you’re so inclined, you can check out the short making-of video below, which shows how the film used lots of practical effects for its stunning visuals.