Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Kopacka’

During a drug raid a group of policemen find themselves trapped in a nightmare, the third zone of Dante’s ninth circle of Hell.

I had the pleasure of viewing another German/English language screener personally from filmmaker Kevin Kopacka. Here the Austrian director offers another dark moody psychological visual 32 minute short. The preceding opening with a horrific story of the fate of a young boy which is followed by a flick though the sounds, voices and static of a radio station of 99.9, Kopacka’s prequel to Hades – TLMEA is more street than its predecessor, following a sullen group of swat and undercover police (poliza). Blurred images, shadows on red, troubled sleep with unnatural lighting, flashy editing that cuts to the hyper real moments as the director takes us through on screen title cards beginning with segments subtitled Limbo and Lust.

TLMEA unfolds with the harsh reverberating, at times melodic music by Aiko Aiko as we go further into the subtitled levels and themes, Animosity, (Greed reflected on the TV), Malice, Heresy, Violence, level 1,2, 3 and so on; we seep into the Twin Peaks dreamlike mind of our chain smoking protagonist with a cancelled TV show, Johnny Arson, showing on the TV sets in scenes possibly reflecting society imitating art and sensationalising horror and vice-versa.

Amongst the array of unconventional yet wonderfully abstract coloured lighting (reminiscent of Revolver) there some great effects by Tim Scheidig as a character turns to ice (reflecting Dante’s penalty for the damned) and we are introduced to more hallucinatory themes subtitled Fraud and later Treachery.

Time and effort has clearly been pumped into this production. The acting is first rate, the excellent Anna Heidegger appears briefly (reprising her Hades role). Author/producer H.K. DeWitt also appears. As with Kopacka’s other work the narrative is up for interpretation, no doubt a mainstream interesting feature script awaits (wow, I’d love this team to option one of my novels). As a standalone mystery thriller short it may not have the nightmarish impact of Hades but as a companion piece they compliment and complete each other perfectly.

As mentioned running through the underbelly of the short is the nine circles of Hell (Dante’s Inferno). These dreamlike nightlife images, have a contradicting visual clarity as our lead Cris Kotzen as Schweitzer unloads a gun bringing the state of mind to a close, Tolomea after ‘Ptolomea’, conjuring Minos (interestingly played by rapper/artist Ufo361).

If visually surreal rides are your thing, this is compulsory late night viewing.

 Reviewed for

Horror Cult Exploitation Film Blu-ray and DVD News and Reviews.

A woman is trapped in a dream like state which appear to represent various stages of her relationship.

Watching films can sometime be dull, but occasionally the planets align and you get to view something quite stirring. Austrian director Kevin Kopacka offers a genuine haunting piece of art house film with a kitchen sink of camera tricks, sound design and lighting effects. Following a series of individual arresting sequences actor Anna Heidegger’s organic beauty and fine performance really enchants as you journey through her nightmare. It has a universal standing as there’s little, if any dialogue, its all about visuals and Kopacka delivers more treats in his experimental short than many features manage to do.

This Berlin made short film (just shy of fifteen minutes) unfolds like a Steven Berkoff play of uneasiness. Broken up by title cards Kopacka injects Giallo’s horror and psychological thriller elements into his piece. He also throws in for good measure elements reminiscent of Kubrick’s The Shining and a cross section of Lynch’s work to name a few, successfully borrowing from the some of the best with lingering long corridors, locked doors, shadowy figures and silhouettes. Shots with glimpses of things that seemingly supernaturally move, notable are the eerie bed clothes. There’s also the haunting stillness of faces, sunsets and hazy memories.

Is it paramount that you analyse writer H.K. DeWitt’s take on the five rivers of the realm of Hades and their symbolic meanings? Possibly, but it’s not important, as Kopacka’s Hades is about how it makes you feel with its unrelenting pressure and a sense of all-pervading paranoia and dread. The short is almost pure cinema and comes highly recommended.