BLISSED – (or “Bless Id”) continues the racial dynamics of A MOOR via the unspoken issue of LGBT domestic violence as allegory. Drawing inspiration from the claustrophobic tensions of Tennessee Williams, it distills the undertones between classes in society, the plight of immigrants in Canada, the double-edge of charity, and the transference of violence from people’s fetish and fear.
In BLISSED, as in A MOOR, the queer is both allegory and subverted. Eros in both films is a functional transaction, a representation of power relations; unlike the fetish of charged eroticism that is prevalent in LGBT cinema. Like its excluded stories and characters, the film inhabits a No Man’s Land between Hollywood and Art House tropes; straddling the nether boundary between narrative and experimental – a No Man’s Land with no heroes, no resolutions, no romanticized sentiments. Man and metaphor intermingle through the naming and speech of the characters.
BLISSED forms the second part of CONTENTUS, an experimental triptych that bookends STILLE STADT, taking its cue from the contrasting meanings of the word – content (French, Italian), to strain with exertion (Latin), to contain/hold together (Latin). Shot in long unbroken takes using only available light, the films comprising CONTENTUS eschews the contemporary propensity of coverage over character, style over substance, and construction of protagonists
CONTENTUS builds upon ideas on a cinema of attention (vs distraction) by eschewing the conventions of narrative grammar, rejecting the “wasted” shots in contemporary cinematography (redundant close ups, coverage angles, etc.) and utilizing music as a thematic counterpoint (vs. mood or editing device), it infuses cinema with Brechtian influences – in use of allegory, and where form itself is made conscious and interrogated (itself a metaphor for awakening the consciousness of people).
RUNNING TIME: 50:46 | COMPLETED: 02/15 | WRITER/DIRECTOR: STEPHEN CHEN
CAST: SAMMY ALLOUBA, DAVID PHILLIPS, PETER MAZZUCCO, JOHN MARCUCCI | DISTRIBUTOR: