Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (Palfi, 2012)

Final Cut

An original story is conceived by collecting  and editing years of cinema. The story is dynamically told through out of context clips from an assortment of films and television episodes. Without a context of its own, it transcends meaning. As a film without specific protagonists, environments, and objects, the ideas conveyed deny the monomial. It is not symbolic; it is metaphorical. This is film as a dream, as pure image-in-the-mind-and-hearts of the cinephile viewing it.

By transcending meaning, the film is eternal yet meaningless. What is imagined does not go beyond what cinema is already capable of producing. Through fragmentation and the denial of an absolute, the film’s energy or rhythm is continually disrupted. The film denies presence, which to some (Bazin, Rosenbaum, etc.) is the essential quality of film. There are no objects to be used as the grounding for cinematic experience, except perhaps the alarm clocks that are seen twice (secondly when the film rewinds and provides a different end).

Despite the exceptional editing, Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen is not a highly cinematic film. In fact, it is more appreciable as a learning tool, an art-piece, a collage—or rather a decoupage. In any event, the film is one hell of an impressive novelty that shows more work and pedantry than almost anything I’ve seen besides Chris Marclay’s gallery exhibit The Clock.

70/100 – Good.

3 Stars

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About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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