Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:
(1994, dir. Nacho Cerdà)
Aftermath is a short horror film by the Spanish director Nacho Cerdà made in 1994. It follows a pair of morticians performing graphic autopsies on a pair of corpses. After one leaves for the night, the second begins working on a third body, a young woman killed in a car crash. He first mutilates the corpse, then performs a number of sexual acts upon it while taking photographs. After he finishes he removes the woman's heart and completes the autopsy, then takes her heart home and blends it into a fine pulp. The film ends as he feeds his dog the heart while he relaxes and watches TV.
There is no spoken dialogue for the duration of the film.
With Aftermath, writer/director Nacho Cerdà has created one of the best short films I have ever seen, and created an artwork that is unique to cinema. Aftermath is not about telling a story, although it has a story; it is not about revealing character, although it does that too. It is the depiction of a moment in time and space. This moment could not be adequately described through words, or in painting, or even in music.
Cerdà's philosophical ideas about death are obscured for many viewers by the graphic nature of the movie and the taboo subject matter, but the clinical detachment of the first half of the movie helps gain perspective on it, especially when contrasted with the more intense and stylized second half.
This is not a film for the faint of heart or the narrow of mind, but if you've got what it takes it's extraordinary. It's best watched in the context of the recent DVD, along with its less extreme companion shorts.