By Fabricio Estevam Mira
Experimental cinema is a spectrum. At one end, we have films that, while not products for the masses, aim to take you to the unique reality of their creator and are not, essentially, so far removed from other genres. They have a sense or purpose encoded by the script, editing, or other elements that make up the work. They are studies put into practice. And at the beginning of this spectrum, we have Abstract Experimentalism. Scratching. Bleach Bypass. Double Exposure. Field Recording. Glitch. Options to alter, distort, corrupt, and create. Tools in an audio-visual possibilities laboratory where the results do not need to make any sense in themselves, but rather be new possibilities for cinematic language. And that's okay. Hundreds of scratches and chemical immersions in 16mm films don't need to result in something coherent, and no one interested in this extreme of experimental cinema expects more than, hopefully, the emergence of a new color on the palette. But from chaos come fascinating and unexpected fruits, and one of the most interesting is called Tlaloc, by filmmaker Abinadi Meza. Like thousands of others, Meza poured ink onto his 16mm film. Like thousands of others, Meza recorded various sounds (mostly related to water) and mixed everything into a filmic soup. But unlike very few, Meza created something original and intriguing. When you watch Tlaloc, you'll see colored stains, scribbles, dots, and more dots, and storms of more dots and stains accompanied by crackling and aquatic sounds. Oceanic. Abyssal. Everything already seen and reviewed to exhaustion in the experimental universe, but that this time resulted in something beyond. In a short time of projection, you begin to be induced into a semi-hypnotic state of unreality where everything improbable becomes possible. A languid anxiety begins to long for cosmic surrealism and physical transmutations. Was all this intentional? I don't know, but that was the result. I can easily imagine, in a pre-internet era, cinephiles gathering in totally exclusive circles to watch a certain forbidden film capable of this and that, made by a certain Abinadi Meza, who disappeared mysteriously after completing the work.