★★★★ Directed by: Maxime Beauchamp Starring: Johmar Suyom, Andrew Nadanyi, Lara Amelie Abadir LGBT Film Review by: Evie Brudenall
"Iridescence" – the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. This definition of the term is laterally and metaphorically explored by Maxime Beauchamp and her visually stimulating film of the same name.
Logan (Johmar Suyom) endures a miserable and abusive existence as he suffers at the hands of Vince (Andrew Nadanyi) who is intent of quashing Logan’s individuality and his true self. As a result, Logan retreats into his psyche that is rife with complication, pain from past trauma and fractions of happiness that he takes comfort and solace in.
Our protagonist Logan has a slew of derogatory and pejorative words cruelly tattooed and etched into his skin, such as “disgusting” and “disgrace”. These tattoos are inflicted upon Logan by Vince who uses this intimate act of aggression to shame him for being different to who Vince sees himself as. It’s during these moments that the themes in Iridescence really present themselves, themes that include but are not limited to; toxic masculinity and the discrimination faced by members of the LGBTQ community as it is heavily implied that Logan is homosexual.
The depth and layers contained within the story of Iridescence are supported by the style of filmmaking opted by Beauchamp. Iridescence feels like an amalgamation of an experimental film/art installation/expressive dance short. Everything about the film is tightly and impressively choreographed from the dancing itself to the lighting design that externalises Logan’s internal conflict to the fluid movement of the camera as it elegantly captures the emotions that are expressed through the medium of dance and exaggerated body language. It’s evident that every technical and creative department have worked closely together to produce a tonally cohesive short under Beauchamp’s stylistic direction.
A lot of the images in Iridescence are psychedelic and fragmented which gives us a glimpse into the states of mind of the small collection of characters as they relive warped flashbacks that all take place in an inescapable cuboid web of string. It’s within this structure where the characters feel truly expressive but it’s also where they experience the most pain as they cannot avoid confronting their demons. Vince, Logan’s oppressor throughout the film, is revealed to also suffer from oppression as he too bares an etching on his skin, his being a vile homophobic slur. Logan and Vince eventually confront one another and the two engage in a balletic style fight that is both beautiful and brutal in equal measure due to Danielle Gardner’s wonderful choreography.
As aforementioned, Iridescence is brimming with many themes but perhaps the one that leaves the biggest impression is this; that love, kindness, empathy and acceptance of what makes us and others unique will always usurp and overpower hate.