New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us (Michael Robinson, 2010)
With aesthetics that could have come from a Yes album cover, These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us would at first glance seem to only deliver on the promise of its punning, kitschy title. Much of this short film is a first-person journey through crudely animated, computer generated tunnels, which befits the theme of passage. Robinson fixates on close-ups of sequins and gemstones, resulting in a kaleidoscopic a play of patterns and ensuring that diamonds are forever, even in this story’s ambiguous wash of time. Somewhere amongst its excessive glitter, though, Hammers develops a soul. “Without you, this is not a world I want to live in, much less conquer,” Isis/Cleopatra/Taylor says, to her real-life friend. Robinson’s images are haunted by loss. The film, made before Taylor’s death, takes on a new rightness after her passing. The ethereal sound effects gurgling underneath the images of this death dream reinforce the feeling that a womblike place of rest lies somewhere beyond the dance music that pulsates throughout the film. In his use of found footage, Robinson productively explores the tension between individualized flashbacks and collective pop culture memories. The resulting concoction exudes a strange, sad magic that befits its subjects entirely.