Now this has to be the very definition of an experimental ‘art’ movie, with its trance-like, optical illusions and interspersed flashing images. Whilst watching, I was convinced that there must be some sort of subliminal messaging taking place here and it was for this reason that I was rather uneasy watching it. I actually took the liberty of looking up the definition of ‘Verrucose’ and discovered that it means ‘covered with warts or wart-like projections’ which will surely give anyone reading this the kind of message that this film hopes to put out there. This is not to be taken literally, of course.
I must admit, I did start to get bored during the course of this half an hour movie, as each section seems to last too long to actually have an impact on the viewer. I honestly think that five minutes on each bit would easily have been enough for the audience to understand what they’re seeing, but not reduce them to the point of tears! I mean, how entertaining is it to look at shapes and colours moving about for an indefinite amount of time. Tedious, is the only word I can think of right now. I do appreciate that a lot of effort must have gone into making this (especially the bit where all of the pictures and video clips are frantically spliced together), but perhaps director Marc Broude is just a tad too far into his own world for others to truly understand where he is. Interestingly enough, Marc Broude’s main profession is a musician and I am curious as to why he decided to make the jump into film making.
The second ‘section’ of Verrucose is the one that sticks out the most for me, maybe because it is the only bit that has an element of conventionality about it – film footage depicting a series of events happening as opposed to just abstract shapes and nonsense. It is also because it features one of the top most squeamish things that seems to be the Achilles heel to a surprising amount of horror fans – anything which deals with touching the eye at all. It is almost an unwritten rule in horror that limbs are allowed to be hacked off and chests sliced open, but you just don’t mess with the eyes! However, Marc Broude is clearly not one to commit to the ‘rules’ and so he dedicated a whole section to a woman having a rather bizarre operation (?) on her eye. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was being done here, but let’s just say that there was an element of A Clockwise Orange going on. There is something about this which is grossly intriguing to watch though. A real eye-opener, pun intended.
Basically then, if you a fan of arty/abstract/trance-like films, then this is definitely one for you. Verrucose is one that requires a deeper analysis than your average, everyday movie, and was clearly not done for mere entertainment. Full respect goes out to Marc Broude for it though, as I always admire someone who wants to send an important message to people, choosing to convey that message through a non- narrative format. A brave attempt indeed.
Verrucose (short film) (2011)