TRAILERS-2016-Rouzbeh Rashidi

Nikola Gocić reviews Trailers, 2016, directed by Rouzbeh Rashidi 

Similarly to Maximilian Le Cain, the Dublin-based filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi (born in Tehran, 1980) is one of the loudest and most exciting new voices in experimental cinema of our time. The recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s “Film Project Award”, as well as many other accolades, he has developed a particular modus operandi over the years he has been active, from the late ‘90s onward. Eschewing screenwriting in favor of improvisation (a great example is the sextet of features he made in cooperation with actor James Devereaux), Rashidi operates within the constraints of low or no budget which in return provides him with endless amounts of creative freedom. His idiosyncratic style could be summed up as anti-commercial and highly subjective, with abstract plots, long, static shots and the utilization of diverse formats as some of its traits.

In Trailers, which is the second part in a promised trilogy of “cinematic black boxes” starting with the equally challenging offering Ten Years In The Sun, he keeps on pushing the boundaries of alternative filmmaking and delivers an outré spectacle, epic in scope and enigmatic from the first to the last minute of its three-hour-long running time. Demanding that his viewers open their third eye, Rashidi captures strange sexual rituals as if seen from the standpoint of an intelligent (and titillated) alien entity, in what appears as an avant-garde burlesque of cataclysmic proportions. Oneiric and onanistic, amusing and bemusing, personal and universal, thoughtful and irrational, his off-kilter phantasmagoria stars busty and curvy goddesses, either posing draped in nothing but lights and colors or lashing their sex slaves in a sadomasochistic play. Erotica is treated almost as a transcendental category, whereby images flicker in the rhythm of an open mind, leaving you with an experience that is hard to describe.