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The Surrealist

Franchesco Casadidio

The Surrealist

Meshes of the afternoon, is a short experimental film that follows surrealist ideals. In film, the audience cannot connect the scenes in a causal matter. The film distorts the common thought process any audience would have if it were looking at it in a rational manner. Even though the film might not have a consistent structure the film makes the argument that a knife is like a key, a tool that is used to escape. The way in which the directors have edited the film to use graphic matching to compare the knife and key supports the idea that both items are interchangeable. The woman in the film interacts with the key from the beginning of the film which makes it a point of focus. As the film progresses she is once again captured interacting with the key on the table in which it switches cuts from key to knife and again to key.

Throughout Meshes of the afternoon, a feeling of suicide is built throughout the film because of the way the woman interacts with her environment. She seems a bit lost in the house and the constant angel shifts of the camera gives the impression that the woman is lost. From the beginning of the film the woman is seen with a key and then drops the key and chases after it. The key is important to her because it lets her open the door of the house that she is trying to get into. The woman is capable of moving from the outdoors to the inside only through the use of the key. The graphic matching in the film with the knife and key suggests that the woman wants to commit suicide. The knife has now become the tool that she will use to escape her own life.

Towards the end of the film, the woman seems to be uncomfortable when she is awoken by the knife which is then cross switched to be a man waking her up. The man puts the phone and her back in order but quickly out stays his welcome when he starts to touch the woman. The flower that she has next to her transforms into a knife which she uses to get rid of the man. She throws the knife at him and he breaks as if he was a mirror. The way in which she is able to escape that moment is through the knife a tool that is compared to a method of escape in my analysis.

As the film approaches to an end the audience sees the woman dead on a chair. It seems as if she has finally taken her own life with the knife. The way in which the film uses the knife interchangeably with a key makes the argument that a knife is a tool that one can use to escape. The woman first uses the knife to escape the sexual encounter she had with the man and then again to escape the world she is in by taking her own life.


3 responses to “The Surrealist

  1. ltimlin ⋅

    Interesting that you relate the key to the knife, both as methods of escape. I am curious to what you make of the phone being off the hook. Does that relate to an idea of the woman wanting privacy throughout this dramatic moment in her life? Maybe that’s also why she reacted belligerently to the man’s attention.

  2. You make an interesting argument with the knife and the key being interchangeable motifs for escape. I don’t think I saw suicide as a constant theme to the film though, more of a climax at the end.

  3. Something I also found interesting was how the inanimate objects presented in this film were all ordinary objects that one would see in a home, the knife in a loaf of bread. Taken at face value the objects shouldn’t be anything other than their primary purpose but in the film they become almost malicious as the dream sequences continue. I also think that using the key and knife as a motif for escape is an interesting idea because I think it correlates with her subconscious need to escape her reality. The house is ordinary and simple but as the dream sequences continue it becomes unfamiliar and disorienting. I think by using aspects of reality, such as suburban looking home and rather domestic looking objects, and manipulating them in a way to appear sinister the director can represent the woman’s subconscious need to escape her actual life.

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