While the role of an experimental film is undoubtedly to deflect the viewer from the screen while still holding their gaze, and the bulk of Cooley’s work appears to be designed for this function, Nothing is surprisingly accessible and markedly more direct than his other films. With the self-appointed task of documenting a painful time on film, Cooley sheds some of the layers of punkish deviation and displays himself in an intimate light, although ‘characters’ still exist, including a dragon mask that acts as his advisor. The most touching moments are the simplest – a peculiar riff on Super Mario Bros. comments humorously on gender difference – but Cooley upholds his frenetic editing style, frequently changing the speed of audio. It might not speak to everybody, but Nothing is an unconventionally personal work.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Independent avant-garde filmmaker Adam Cooley has been pulling in the plaudits over the past few years with his uncompromisingly back-to-basics approach, making use of freeware such as MS Paint and Windows Movie Maker to keep his budget at an absolute minimum. Nothing Is More Beautiful Than Nothing is the second instalment of what the director calls his ‘No Trilogy’, a body of work shot in a matter of months and intended to be viewed in one session. The film is a collection of vaguely associated short films produced around the time that Cooley had split up with his girlfriend (to whom the film is dedicated), and she occasionally features. The project is bound together by a gently ambient soundtrack.