Performance, video, and MOfone artist, and founder of the Attic Underground, Morrisa Maltz, returns to the screen with her second Creature short. In “The Caretaker,” a film she made with Lauren Lillie last year, The Creature visits a woman in her apartment, where she is served an Octopus salad and plays cribbage. Maltz’s artistic bent (she did the “Art & Design” for both films) centers both films around the incredibly unworldly dresses she creates as part of her artwork.
Now she’s showcasing her evolving directing abilities with “Odyssea,” a fantastical journey about Sophie, played by a fresh faced Natasha Warner (one of Maltz’s performance collaborators), who has returned to her oceanside home town (Coronado, California) to deal with issues in her past. Following a 1986 home movie that introduces the film, penned by Jeffrey Paul King (a story editor and writer on TV’s “Elementary”), the tale moves to a more current time, where Sophie orders a sandwich from a plucky deli guy who seems to recognize her. She’s confused. (Me too.) He gives her a second on the house.
Model-turned-actress Amy Ferguson appears as the wildly excessive, overflowing rose red-flocked creature of the woman’s imagination; a part she played in “The Caretaker,” although there she was a different hue (a watery blue-silver). She never speaks.
The wonderful character actress Beth Grant (Beverly on “The Mindy Project”), provides one of her stranger appearances as an unnamed woman, who trades a decanter of what looks like blood for Sophie’s extra deli sandwich. The dialogue is dreamlike, rarely approaching anything found in normal conversation. “You can’t see, because you’re too busy looking.”
Maltz lets the symbols do their own talking. Red roses. Red flags. Red Blood (or is it wine?). I’ll let the viewer do his or her own translation. For me, in the words of the Grateful Dead, it’s a long, strange trip, albeit in a 12-minute film.
I’m not sure what’s going on in “Odyssea” as it creeps along to its watery end. It’s something to look at. I just don’t know what.