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¶ Short of the Day #108: The Operation

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Perception de Ambiguity
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¶ Short of the Day #108: The Operation


Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 3rd, 2017, 10:52 am

"Short of the Day" is the daily discussion of a short.

1) Watch.
2) Discuss.
3) Send me your suggestions for the next Short of the Day per PM, along with links to the shorts and comments, questions for the other users to think about, and/or info about the short.

Detailed project introduction & index: here


I can't give you much more of a warning than this, the film is very sexually explicit in nature, but we are all adults here, right? Legally speaking anyway. This is also why I picked a Saturday to have this be the Short of the Day. So if you aren't actually 18 yet or easily offended stay away, and you probably want to keep your children away from it, but if you let your five-year-old watch porno movies that's your business, not mine. Alright, now that this is out of the way let’s get to the film.


The Operation (Jacob Pander, 1995) :ICM: :imdb:

Length: 12 minutes 46 seconds

Suggested by: Perception de Ambiguity


>'The Operation' is a collaboration by Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas, shot in 48 hours on a minuscule budget utilizing thermal imaging technology. Their exploration of erotic imagery stems from an interest in the viewer's psychological and sexual response. The film represents a merging of their equal fascination with the macabre beauty of the human body as viewed by science and technology. By using new infrared imaging devices, the boundaries between physical and intellectual stimulation become blurred.<

It’s not particularly amazing filmmaking but just the b&w images of the infrared thermal camera I think already have an inherent beauty to them, and applied to what is essentially a porno segment yields quite an interesting result. This particular porno segment also takes a medical procedure as its basic scenario, which here, like with a regular porno, also is primarily a pretense, and just like the butch plumber or cable guy coming over to a lone half-naked housewife’s house you can see where this is going ("He fixes the cable?"), but the film also combines horror with the sex through its use of music and adds the element of voyeurism (not that the latter is unusual for a porno), making the film not only in look but also in feel not too far removed from the thermal sequences in Philippe Grandrieux’s 'La vie nouvelle' from a few years later.

Comments, quotes and warnings by: Perception de Ambiguity
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on June 3rd, 2017, 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Carmel1379 » June 3rd, 2017, 10:18 pm

I like it. Compared to a regular porn film, there's even a lot more excitement within the corporeal going on, the editing is spot-on, despite the disjointed sequences. The thermal camera and strong black-and-white give it an alien quality too, especially when viewed together with the soundtrack I think that's what they were going for. The people clad in laboratory suits, as if they were conducting a scientific experiment or dealing with something radioactive, emphasise this alien dimension; the voyeuristic aspect you mentioned is also unusual and meant to be mildly upsetting. Without any storyline, seeing those "scientists" just leave in a lift in the end, reinforces obscurity.

The comparable sequence in 'La vie nouvelle' had a more reptilian and horror-evocative feeling to it though, given that it happens towards the end when the protagonist seemingly traverses to a deeper hell, makes it practically the culmination point such that there was something very intense about it. Compared to that, 'The Operation' seems almost relaxing, although of course it has the aforementioned eerie and alien feel to it.
IMDb, letterboxd
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Well here he is skidded out onto the Zone like a planchette on a Ouija board, and what shows up inside the empty circle in his brain might string together into a message, might not, he'll just have to see.

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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Post by Perception de Ambiguity » June 4th, 2017, 10:57 am

Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas continued to make photographs and of course video installations with the thermal camera, and they seem to go for something more animalistic (not that showing two people fuck exactly emphasizes the human intellect either), but this shot for example I think looks like right out of 'La vie nouvelle':


Here's a trailer and stills from that film on the guy's website (NSFW):
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on June 4th, 2017, 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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