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also known as The Absence

L'assenza2013

  • 3.8
By chance, a man sees his double in an Italian film of the early 1960s. Fascinated, he returns to see the film again and again, only to find the images changing with every viewing. Becoming addicted to his own image, he travels to Paris for another encounter with his doppelganger. In the tradition of supernatural tales of possession, L'ASSENZA is a film about the fascination that cinema exerts on us, a fascination implicitly narcissistic, morbid, even dangerous.

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"Jonathan Romney writes, directs and convinces with a tale that's rich in allusion..." - Andrew Robertson, Eye for Film


2 members like this review

A great short film, riveting every second. The writing and story is fluid and strong. This is one of those films that you want to show to guests who are putting on their coats, and you don't want them to leave quite yet. "Oh, it's only 20 minutes and worth it." Then the discussion on the nuances of the relationships in the film, the way every viewing of "L'assenza" changes in a subtle way, and how it can be a metaphor on the reflection of life, living as just a guest at the party. The discussion and interest is limitless.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (12)

2efae933f63ea5a471b86a486602ec0b?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0082
top reviewer

A great short film, riveting every second. The writing and story is fluid and strong. This is one of those films that you want to show to guests who are putting on their coats, and you don't want them to leave quite yet. "Oh, it's only 20 minutes and worth it." Then the discussion on the nuances of the relationships in the film, the way every viewing of "L'assenza" changes in a subtle way, and how it can be a metaphor on the reflection of life, living as just a guest at the party. The discussion and interest is limitless.

2 members like this review

very much like a "twilight zone" episode in concept and pacing, especially the ending. favorite part: watching the film within the film change slightly as the protagonist watched it.

1 member likes this review

Right out of Outer Limits. Rod Sterling returns.

1 member likes this review

Loved it. love puppets.

1 member likes this review

Great short movie. Love the cleverness of the end, very clever play on the title.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

"L'assenza" is a 20 minute diamond that playfully explores the paradoxical conundrum of the film lover. Life and art do not imitate each other; instead they share a weird symbiosis in soft focus. We look out the window as the car as it rolls through the countryside and suddenly hear the theme from the "Magnificent Seven." We see the wide, establishing shot of a city street and realize we know that neighborhood. We anticipate the action of a film without realizing that we have actually seen it before, years and years ago. It's all a beautiful nightmare that we don't seem to mind reliving over and over.

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top reviewer

entertaining enough.

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top reviewer

This movie stars Timothy Burton and the girl from MadTV. It starts out Mexican, then goes to English, next to French and then Chinese. Between the eating and drinking I can barely understand the dialog-- in ANY of the languages. The spaceship, the riot and the crucifix give me the impression there is a lot of rage going on here. I'm also confused why when he is walking down the sidewalk, the shoes are making sounds associated with petite feet. I couldn't help but compare this to the movie "Diamond Jim". I LOVED this film!!!

OK, its just a 20 minute short about a guy who sees himself in the background of a movie and becomes obsessed by it with which is strange and even stranger end. I had a half hour to kill so this fit in perfectly. I'd give it 2.5 stars out of 5

Mostly impressive existential panic by way of cinematic obsession, hints of The Twilight Zone much appreciated whilst it parodies Italisn cinema of the '60s (specifically La Notte).

Doesn't quite stick the landing though, moving to a literal embodiment of its title rather than something surprising or clever at the end.

wonderful

I thought this was just great. A punto, on the Italian films of the 60s (hilariously so) and also just very clever. Excellent performances and much fun to be had.