Divine machine of revelations

Cincinnatus Vatanzade shares impressions of the film Good Machine Gun Sound seen at last year's Shanghai A Long Week of Short Films.

Heidegger argued that death allows a person to finally stay all on his own. It feels like the beginning of the movie directed by Truls Krane Meby, where a boy tiptoes through the rooms of his parents' house, illustrates this idea. Death enters the screen before light. It is watching the boy, but when he runs into the street to play and chase his younger brother, he becomes death himself and starts a hunt. Thus, within a single shot, which is more than three minutes long, the character appears both as a victim of death and a deadly hunter.

filmmakerTruls Krane Meby

At the end of this long shot, death gets into the movie and into the house without disguise through a phone call. The news is received by the boy's mother, who is carrying a new life inside her. It is either a sort of dichotomy of beginning and end or a cyclic harmony emphasized by the spinning motion of the camera following the boy's twists and turns. The boy plays death, rips his brother's guts, rivals life. This swirling and switching personas within one role prepares the viewers, and, by the time the phone rings, they are ready, they expect death. But the same can't be said about the brave boy…

frame from the film Good Machine Gun Sound

frame from the film Good Machine Gun Sound

And then there starts a narrative composed of rapid cuts, between which no new expectations or semantic meanings can appear. Those images of adults, parents, who waste their time and energy, serve to explain once again everything that was stated in the initial set-up. Adults and parents are shot quickly and casually, while children get long intimate silent Bergmanish close-ups. Children meet death that used to live quietly within them and now looks them in the face. These children, who are stripped of the protective layer of parents' care, who have understood life, are left under the radiant eyes of the Creator.


Cincinnatus Vatanzade