16 Nov 2017

The Night I Dance With Death (Vincent Gibaud, 2017)

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
The 80s psychedelia meets Masaaki Yuasa at his most experimental (has it ever been the other way around?) in Vincent Gibaud's crowdfunded short animated film which happens to be his first post-graduation work. The Night I Dance With Death (originally, La Nuit Je Danse avec la Mort) is built around the experience, rather than the story of our protagonist - a dispirited young man, Jack, who does not hesitate too long before trying a glowing hallucinogenic substance at a party.

Initially visceral and seemingly pleasurable, Jack's trip suddenly takes a disturbingly dark turn of growing anxieties, only to transform into an electrifying wet dream (akin to Jérémy Clapin's music video for DyE's Fantasy) during the final act. Opening to 'a new field of perception and feeling', he embarks on a mind-blowing adventure which transforms his disillusionment into an orgasmic catharsis.

Gibaud couldn't have chosen a better medium to bring his extravagant vision to pulsating life. Drug-fuelled inner mechanisms are represented in grainy and constantly fidgeting kaleidoscopic imagery of neon lights, vibrant colors and abstract transitions. At times extremely violent (as in head exploding and body distorting), his restless, hyper-stylized visuals provide plenty of altered states eye-candy accompanied by throbbing electronica inspired by the retro new wave music of Perturbator and Carpenter Brut. This powerful, highly memorable fantasy which plunges us into the uncharted dimension of human subconscious is available on the author's official Vimeo channel, HERE.

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