A woman is caught in an endless dream where she has to cross the five rivers of HADES – each representing different stages of her relationship.
HADES is loosely based upon a short story called “Status Bezogen” by the author H. K. DeWitt. It is an experimental short and it is worth noting that it is completely devoid of dialogue. That’s right – there is no talking.
Therefore the story relies heavily upon its use of wonderfully cast actors: Anna Heidegger (M) and Cris Kotzen (Schweitzer) imagery and sound.
The story unfolds as M wakes up in a stranger’s bed, the familiarity of a shower can be heard and she drifts back to sleep. However, when waking up again she becomes caught up in a dream world. As she moves within a house in this dream like state, the corridors and rooms are representative of one of the five rivers of HADES. She must pass through all these torments to get to her own personal hell.
The writer and director Kevin Kopacka is pretty much a newcomer to the world of directing having only one other directorial credit to his name, a short entitled “For Those Who Still Exist”.
But let me tell you something, this little film of Kopacka’s is a true work of art. It is absolutely incredible and completely unlike anything that is out there at the moment. ‘Out there’ being the optimum word here. HADES is nothing short of 15-minutes worth of sensory overload. It is Kopacka’s complete understanding and capability to blend imagery and sound that makes for a very hypnotic watch.
Kopacka’s depth of knowledge can be attributed to his studies in Fine Arts at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin – in addition to working as a painter and video artist for the last 8 years. But, whatever the case maybe, it is clear that he understands light composition, layering and has the gift to evoke emotions through colour.
The use of colour in some of the shots was very reminiscent to the Giallo Maestro Dario Argento in his film Suspiria. Kopacka’s use of red, which is a strong primary colour, created a flawless nightmarish atmosphere. It shaped confusion and added a deep sense of danger.
During the filming of the flashback moments Kopacka and Lucas Dolgener actually filmed in Super 8. This worked perfectly within the structure of the film as it immediately induced an unnerving feeling, which I have previously experienced through likes of Cigarette Burns, 8mm and Sinister.
As there was no dialogue the use of sound was very crucial and Kopacka achieved this by carefully selecting the right sound/music/noise which would stimulate the senses and draw upon the strength of the visuals.
HADES is more than just a short film; it is a work of art. It was a pleasure to watch a film which born from a new perspective. I would heartedly recommend everyone to watch it, as it is so abstract and unique.
Words by Amanda Hunt (@man_ders11)