Lazarus’ Resurrection Won’t Do Any Good
It would be no spoiler to let you know from the get-go that things aren’t exactly rosy and don’t go to plan in Clodoaldo Lino’s dystopian sci-fi since you can easily assume that from the title. 'Lazarus’ Resurrection Won’t Do Any Good' is a retro-future dystopian project that not only paints a grim tableau of humanity’s future and destructive tendencies but also explores existential philosophy through some very refined stylistic and content choices.
A few seconds into the film, we were already impressed by the visuals, and how consistent and unique the artistic style remained throughout the 30 minutes of runtime. If comparisons have to be drawn, it would most likely sit somewhere between Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ and ‘The Zero Theorem’ and David Lynch’s ‘Eraserhead’, as well as the darker bits of his recent third season of ‘Twin Peaks’. The clusters of monochrome computer screens, the extensive network of thick wires that connects all the devices, coupled with the dirty grey costumes of the characters and their depressed, hopelessly frozen facial expressions paint a somber atmosphere that spells irreversibility and downfall. The continuous, low background hum is omnipresent throughout the scenes, and much like in Lynch’s projects adds an otherworldly element to the elements it accompanies.
The short experimental film occurs in a fictional state that is plagued by four great sicknesses. Despite the best efforts of the queen and the scientific community, a cure proves to be a very elusive prospect. That is until the Lazarus is found to be in perfectly good health, and chosen against his will to be killed and resurrected, in one final glimmer of hope for the survival of humanity.
Despite the clear main idea, the film’s structure might confuse some with its experimental facet, which translates to both storytelling techniques and visual exposition. The dialogues and monologues are almost Shakespearian in nature, and it is through them that the film’s philosophical themes are explored and placed in parallel with the contextual backdrop of a decadent humanity. Existentialism heavily intersects with religious notions, and so does Clodoaldo Lino’s film, whose frequent references to God and parallels to historical events - the burning of the great museum bears resemblance to the burning of the Library of Alexandria.
In its pessimism, 'Lazarus’ Resurrection Won’t Do Any Good' wonderfully sums up the nature of mankind and offers a worrying perspective on its future. It is certainly a niche project that a large segment of the general public might find too slow, too static and too experimental in structure to present an attractive proposition for entertainment and relaxation. However, for an audience interested in philosophy, for fans of the previously mentioned works and authors and for those who are open to different ways of filmmaking, this short film is sure to be remembered for a long time.