“Out of Body” (by Enrico Po) tells the story of Elle Vicente (Kelley Day), a 21-year-old up-and-coming actress who auditioned for a role in an ad. Her experience at the shooting comprises the bulk of this film; ending with a literal viewing of her demise, or a figurative interpretation of how the entertainment voraciously consumes you and doesn’t care for you so long as it is able to abuse you/your body.
Yeah, it may be a parable packaged as a… slasher film, but does it work?
- For being blunt about the abuses in the entertainment industry, and how these abuses continue because there are even more enablers, this short film is spot on. I’d say that it’s still too bad that if “Extra” that had Vilma Santos in it couldn’t affect the industry, this one won’t either.
- Production’s… expensive, e.g. you can tell from the musical score of Kristofer Crouch, to the sound design of Mikko Quizon, to the production design of Katrish Aristoki. But this somewhat Western approach should have been expected, considering that Po (the director) graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts majoring in Film & TV.
- Talents are… not new to the industry, e.g. deliveries of lines were spot on, acting wasn’t over the top, etc.
- We’ve seen this before – e.g. the abuses in the entertainment industry (that no one’s talking about), via the likes of “Extra”; the “horror” aspect of this particular film, via the likes of “Skeleton Key”; etc.
- Po’s intent when he made the film was actually admirable – i.e. dealing with the abuses in the industry (particularly its toll on women). While he was somewhat respectful with his shots (e.g. the male gaze on the female lead’s body was limited, if absent), it would have been interesting seeing this told by a woman.
- Considering this is supposed to be a film largely about women’s experiences in the film industry, the main character’s presence as the single woman in the film is… way too apparent.
IN THE END
If the intent is to discover newer talents to replace those producing tedious-to-watch flicks (e.g. “BuyBust” of Erik Matti comes to mind; or any of Darryl Yap’s films for that matter), I’d say Enrico Po has a… bright future ahead of him. And yes, “Out of Body” – albeit short – shows why. So, yeah, just give him the budget already… 😛
“Out of Body” is part of the 17th edition of Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, running until September 5 ktx.ph (https://www.ktx.ph/).