Directed by: #ElcidAsaei
Written by: Elcid Asaei
A hypnotic and arresting #shortfilm from writer/director/producer Elcid Asaei, Unskin is a tale of identity in the modern age told using an impressive blend of #mystery, #experimental, #horror and movement cinema.
Roger Carvalho plays an interviewee also called Roger, whose potential employer seems less than impressed with during their tense meeting. Seemingly unfazed, though, Roger reluctantly explains one part of his CV after being questioned about it, a rather intriguing bullet-point that says, “Unskin”. The audience is then treated to an array of sequences that tie in people Roger saw on the tube with this masked deity who is lurking around the streets looking to release people from their materialistic chains. As the same group of commuters is brought together and undergo puppet-master style choreography, a powerful message of change or even revolution is released into the air.
Slick and stylish, Asaei proves himself to be a #filmmaker capable of producing bold, daring movies that look visually impressive. There is a fantasy feel to the aesthetic that is brilliant in sucking the viewer into a narrative that is fairly dark and mysterious. Whilst the plot is fairly vague in its execution, Unskin finds its biggest strength in the unsaid. The powerful movement sequences and the #nightmarish figure that haunts/enlightens the characters are more than enough for audiences the grapple with.
The use of numerous locations was smart, especially the exterior street sequences which lended a sense of urban myth to the atmosphere, the idea that this god-like figure could be lurking around any corner was an important factor in creating an uncomfortable dread for the viewer. Stylistically, it was the use of silhouette during the aforementioned puppet-master dance scene that provided the most memorable sequence of Unskin. A phenomenally engaging piece of movement that was fluid and thoughtful.
There are some clunky moments of dialogue and wooden performances in the interview scene and some viewers may find the loftier motives of Unskin a little hard to chew on. However, there are some excellent themes running through the short film and Elcid Asaei handles them with an artistry that should be commended. To tell a story about 21st century materialism in such a stark manner is already noteworthy but to combine so many wonderful genres in doing so is simply fascinating to watch.