Carcasse Image


By Bradley Gibson | April 15, 2018

French/Icelandic art film Carcasse presents an abstract whose meaning will come from the viewer. Choose your own elucidation.

From the filmmakers description: “A group of people and animals live together on a deserted island, where they work with the relics of a lost world in order to build a new one. Somewhere between ethnography and sci-Fi, Carcasse invites us to inhabit and invent this special landscape alongside them.” 

That’s one interpretation. Since there’s no dialog and no discernible plot, you can overlay any story onto the film you like. You can decide the cloud is shaped liked Snoopy or Mount Rushmore. The experience is unadulterated gestalt. Or deadly boring.


Reactions will say far more about the viewer than they will the film.

Reactions will say far more about the viewer than they will the film. What they say about this viewer is that my attention span isn’t what it used to be (or ever was). My love of words and narrative causes a purely visual experience to leave me cold, or in my case, nearly asleep. The film is very peaceful.

Over the decades there have been several noteworthy plane crashes in Iceland. The wrecks are cleaned up and generally just left in place because of the effort and expense it would take to move them. The most famous is a DC-3 crash from the 1970’s at Sólheimasandur Beach. They become tourist photo ops. Using one of them to make a film is a clever idea. I’m not sure Carcasse is the best possible outcome. 

Humans are seen scraping survival out of a black sand coastline (Iceland) accompanied by some dogs, sheep, goats, and horses. Sheltering in the old fuselage of an airplane crash, making use of recognizable bits of technology, they cobble together life in a vast wasteland. There is no dialog. There’s no music. Shot in black and white. The runtime is a mercifully short one hour (seems longer). If anyone has insomnia I can highly recommend.

The neutral 5 out of 10 rating reflects difficulty comparing the film to other cinema. There’s nothing particularly objectionable.

Learn more on the film FaceBook page.

Carcasse (2017) Written and directed by Clémentine Roy, Gustav Geir Bollason. Carcasse is playing at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival.

5 out of 10

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