Review of “Lazarus’ Resurrection​ Won’t Do Any Good”

ISA award-winning Clodoaldo Lino produces a statement, in the tradition of Sartre’s existentialism thought: the condemning of humankind to itself, the condemning of Man to an existence without God. And this is where the singularity of this film begins. A courageous work, because it is an unusual cinematic exercise, an excellent piece of filmmaking intended for demanding moviegoers who not only look for entertainment but also for the interpretation, and reconstruction, of reality that cinema can and should do.

Lazarus’ Resurrection​ Won’t Do Any Good

Lazarus’ Resurrection Won’t Do Any Good

Directed by Clodoaldo Lino (Brazil)

In an imprecise future, humanity faces many strange diseases that threaten to bring the entire species to extinction. To avoid this situation, the Queen and her scientists orchestrate an experiment that could completely change the course of events: the resurrection of a man whose body has not yet been attacked by lethal viruses. Soon they encounter Lazarus who meets all the requirements, but it seems that all attempts to defy the biological mechanism are useless. People have to face the inferno of their own existence, dreaming of illusory paradise spaces.

This is the plotline of “Lazarus’ Resurrection Will not Do Any Good”, which Brazilian filmmaker Clodoaldo Lino clearly defines after a few minutes of the film. An experimental short film, but also a dystopian narrative, which puts the movie in the field of Sci-Fi. In terms of categorization – because we always feel the need to label a work of art – this could be the starting point of “Lazarus’ Resurrection Will not Do Any Good”. Still, it seems to be reductive, or even contradictory, to say that it is a futuristic fantasy, because all the scenic elements point to the past. An aristocratic past, a society dominated by an absolutist monarchy in an Orwellian environment.

It is not a new approach, in fact several blockbusters have used the same strategy, but Clodoaldo is able to not be seduced by the easiness because he wants to produce a statement, in the tradition of Sartre’s existentialism thought: the condemning of humankind to itself, the condemning of Man to an existence without God. And this is where the singularity of this film begins. A cinematic experience which, in our opinion, is meant to be, above all, the fictional narrative demonstration of a controversial thesis that draws God out of His place to put the Man there and to make him accountable for all the ills of the world. Ultimately, by the destruction of the planet and extinction of the human race, ills that appear in this movie in the form of epidemic and uncontrollable lethal viruses.

But there is nothing to do when the last hope lies in Lazarus, the only man who has yet to contract any virus. Lazarus, the man Christ resurrected, the man who appears in this film as the denial of this same miracle. Resurrecting him won’t do any good, as it stresses the title chosen for this work.

Lazarus’ Resurrection​ Won’t Do Any Good

Lazarus’ Resurrection Won’t Do Any Good

It is a film with a very particular pace and a mise-en-scène wittingly theatrical, as a stylistic resource to underline the search of the aforementioned aristocratic and, in a certain way, medieval past, which Clodoaldo Lino chose to construct this pessimistic and pragmatic dystopia. In this context, dramatic acting, exaggeratedly dramatic, almost Shakespearean, is also an option consistent with the specificities of this short film. It is as if everything was staged on a theater, where audience merely watches, impotently, the tragedy of their existence. Clodoaldo does not seek to involve the viewer. He prefers to give him careful composition shots but in most of the scenes distant shots. The camera is essentially the POV of the viewer. Who observes the use of warm colors, neons, and strangely dressed people who barely move on this “stage” and say their lines in a slow and dramatic way as the story moves on.

Clodoaldo Lino

Clodoaldo Lino

We are therefore in front of a courageous work because it is an unusual cinematic exercise, both from aesthetically and cinematographically point of view. Even the editing, which favors long plans, does justice to all of this.

On its own terms, and in overall, “Lazarus’ Resurrection Will not Do Any Good” is an excellent piece of filmmaking intended for demanding moviegoers who not only look for entertainment but also for the interpretation, and reconstruction, of reality that cinema can and should do.

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