If Christiane Lilge, the director of “Schwester Ines,” [Sister Ines] wanted to explode my brain and the brain of everyone attempting to slog through German shorts night at the Molodist film festival, I think she came pretty close. Closer than any other director featured. This was one of those experimental horror films that make Norman Bates’ relationship with his mother look like something out of “The Brady Bunch.” I think I spent the best portion of this movie with my face buried on someone else’s shoulder, yelling things like “holyJesusconventionmakeitstop,” and I like horror movies, and consider yelling in theaters to be dreadfully rude and amateurish. The interesting thing is, there’s no actual violence. The brain-busting terror is completely centered on and in the female body.
“OK, you can look now,” dude would say. “OH NO WAIT HOLY SHIT DON’T.” I noticed I wasn’t the only one following his directions. For a short film, it went on forever. Through the general haze, I wondered if you could make the argument that “Schwester Ines” is a misogynist picture. I don’t think you can, really. It’s damn effective, though, and it captures the anxiety surrounding gestation and birth and the ties between a child and her mother, and then it makes you want to vomit out of fear on top of everything else. You’re going to say that anxieties about the female body in particular are kind of an old theme, but there’s something about the way they’re executed here – the transformation of the muted pink walls of the strange OBGYN clinic, combined with the breathy female voice on the intercom oozing fake concern, is startlingly well done – that’s impressive enough to override all that.
Last night was an interesting night in general – I could justify the way “Schwester Ines” got to me via the interestingness, but that would rob Lilge of credit – so I guess you can just say that Halloween was duly and properly celebrated, finally. I haven’t had a proper Halloween in years. I kind of feel like the spirits were getting vengeful there for a while – not getting their due and all. If DMX has taught me anything it is that “It don’t matter if you win or lose, you still gotta pay them dues.” So thanks to everyone who allowed it to happen. And thank you greatly for the wine.
Stopped at a red light at 4 a.m. for conscience’s sake, the taxi driver turned to us and said, “look, snowflakes.” And there they were, in the glow of the headlights. And no, Velen, I didn’t have nightmares after all.