Following a path from Franz Kafka’s metaphoric world comes “Zoetrope”, where walls breathe and dreams become nightmares. Zoetrope is a haunting and explosively surreal film set in an apocalyptic, decaying world. Based on Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”, a man is imprisoned for an unnamed crime and tortured by a nameless sadistic bureaucrat. As the chilling nightmare unfolds, the prisoner peels away the layers of his own metaphysical existence, inching ever closer to his inescapable fate.Hatched from the fertile imagination of director Charlie Deaux (System of a Down, Mortiis), Zoetrope’s richly complex visuals and dark atmosphere cast a spell of fear and terror far beyond its tightly edited eighteen minute length. Deaux’s obsessive attention to detail is reflected in every shot of this relentlessly paced rollercoaster ride.
The music and sound design for Zoetrope, composed by Lustmord, compliment the harrowing visuals perfectly. Lustmord, also known as Brian Williams, is well known for his film work (Underworld, Spawn, The Negotiator, Ghost in the Machine, The Crow, Basketball Diaries, more) as well as his own releases, including his collaboration with the Melvins “Pigs of the Roman Empire”, and “Heresy”, the album that singlehandedly launched the “dark ambient” genre when it was first released.
Shot by renowned music video cinematographer James Hawkinson (Aphex Twin, Tool, Missy Elliot, lincoln Park, Gwen Stefani, Velvet Revolver, System of a Down), the 35mm black & white film looks like footage unearthed from another time and place. Robert Beebe, rising animator and student academy award winner (for his animated short film, “In the Aquarium”), created Oxberry animation for the film.
Deaux and Lustmord’s collaboration presents a world that stirs the murky depths of the subconscious and infects one’s dreams. Zoetrope is a fascinating feast of dark visuals. Part dream, part nightmare, pure genius. –Gregg Hale, producer, “The Blair Witch Project”, “Altered”
Charlie deaux’s zoetrope is a trip! A hellride into the vivid and disturbing imagination of a mad young filmmaker. Deaux has interpreted Kafka’s penal colony and made it his own peculiar vision of alienation, torture, and mind-bending depravity. The stark cinematography and expressionistic art direction are aptly nightmarish. The excruciating pace grinds along with the slow turns of the thumbscrews. Zoetrope is sure to please all fans with a taste for torture. Watch it with a stiff drink. –Scott Kosar, writer “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “The Amityville Horror”, “The Machinist”.
Region-free NTSC DVD