Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)

Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) poster

Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) movie poster

Whatever idea you might have of Peru, Videofilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) will probably come as a surprise, this experimental film taking us on an unexpected trip, whether it’s in terms of narrative or visuals.

Set in the capital, Lima, the film follows Luz (Muki Sabogal) a teenage girl looking for new experiences who falls under the spell of a twisted young man (Junior – Terom) obsessed with porn, video games and conspiracy theories.  After having cybersex online, the two meet in the flesh, Junior capturing their sexual encounter on video to sell it as a porn DVD without her knowledge. Upon viewing he realizes his movie has been mysteriously crypted, Videofilia mixing up Mayan apocalyptic themes, predictions, digital reality, sex and teenage boredom in its pixelated thematic blender.

Written and directed by Juan Daniel F. Molero, an experimental filmmaker that likes to distort movie genres and images, Videofilia is a narratively and visually fractured work that challenges its audience and wouldn’t be out of place in a museum. While the premise about a bored teenager is pretty clichéd, Mr. Molero keeps assaulting his movie – and us – with superimposed graphics, computer screen alerts and pixelated effects which symbolize Internet dangers and the end of the world, among other things.

While I certainly enjoyed M. Molero’s uncompromising vision and artistic aspirations, as a feature I found it pretty confusing – there are hints we might be watching a film within a film on a computer – and I’m not sure that all the symbols were are relentlessly shown are really meaningful. I would also easily have trimmed 25mn to make it leaner as, at time, it feels kind of sluggish.

Videofilia certainly isn’t for everybody and I’m particularly amused that Peru dared to submit it as a foreign film Oscar contender which, to me, sounds like a Punkish Fuck You to the ageing, austere Academy. As a piece of modern art, it’s up to us to find out what messages may or might not be behind this. As a feature film, it might not be as effective but it’s certainly stimulating.

What is sure is that with its rough look, explicit sex scenes and anarchist feel, Videofilia seems to incarnate a new generation fed on Vice media, showcasing the endless opportunities that Internet and easily accessible video can now provide.

Director: Juan Daniel F. Molero – Actors: Liliana Albornoz, Natali Maltz – Running Time: 1:52 – Year: 2016 – Country: Peru
Click here to watch the Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) trailer
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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.