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By Eric Campos | December 27, 2007

Armed with four characters, of which only two speak, and only the sounds of a nature and a mode of transportation, Mike Brune’s short film “The Adventure” guides the viewer down a stretch of forestry bisected by an ostensibly desolate path and inhabited by mimes. There’s a European art film quality to the premise that is appropriate and even a little eerie. As fate would have it, the first day of filming coincided with the deaths of Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni.

On a state-owned, two-lane road with a speed limit of thirty-five miles an hour, a man (John Curran) and a woman (Deborah Childs) are looking for a good place to have a picnic. After passing a soccer field and then a rest area too spacious for the two of them, the man and the woman turn off the main road. They keep going when all of a sudden, “What is a mime doing out here in the woods?” the woman asks the man.

Initially, there is only one master charades-player (wearing red suspenders, red lips, and a bird drawn on his left cheek) entertaining the man and the woman. Minutes later, another mime appears (and is dressed in green suspenders, black lips, a pair of white-rimmed sunglasses and has a stitched wound drawn on his right cheek). The two have an “altercation” that results in the first mime falling backwards onto the hood of the man and the woman’s car. What began as a detour on the way to a nice meal in the forest morphs into a loss of appetite, as the man and the woman witness realism and surrealism converge.

Through the combination of long shots and close-ups as well as an absent musical track,“The Adventure” seats the viewer close to the events that unfold on the screen. Observing the performance art of the mimes vicariously through the couple in the vehicle and the lens of the camera creates a cinematic experience that is absurdist and peculiar rather than merely random.

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