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By David Finkelstein | September 3, 2003

In the film’s opening section, we hear calm, meditative music. We see a close-up of a beautiful woman, who seems to be preparing to enter a meditative state. Her face is superimposed over water, birds, and other images.

A propulsive drumbeat begins, and the musical score comes brilliantly to life. The woman, naked, is dancing ecstatically. Her hands trace the music in front of her face. The image is broken up by a fast strobe light. We usually see 2 or 3 images of the woman superimposed on each other: an extreme facial close-up, her hands, and sometimes her torso or legs.

The music shifts into super-high gear and she goes completely into an ecstatic trance state, her head swinging around wildly. At the height of the film, the strobed images are altered, simplified into a kind of
posterized black and white. These increasingly abstract patterns flash by at incredible speed, although still recognizably depicting her dancing.

This powerful, compelling film depicts a trance state from a radically subjective point of view. It is the only film I’ve ever seen which manages to convey so strongly what it feels like, from the inside, to enter into such a state. Somehow the strobed images, by disrupting the filmed illusion of movement, undermine film’s natural tendency to create a convincing external world, and propel us directly inside of the dancer’s consciousness. The extreme close-ups and the superimpositions also manage to suggest an inner-body view of the dance. The posterized, black and white images take this effect even further, by eliminating transitions in the color space, just as the strobe eliminates transitions temporally.

At the same time that the film creates a powerful subjective experience, it also clearly revels in the external beauty of this glorious dancer and her wholehearted commitment to the music, allowing its energies to completely take her over. The music itself, of course, is a major component of the film’s powerful effect.

I have only one tiny quibble with this film: Angerame’s curious choice of a title, which makes it seem like a film about eating or acquiring. Given that this film provides such an ecstatic depiction of a woman who gives herself over to the forces of music, I would think that it would be more appropriate to have called it “Consumed.”

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