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Chino Moya & Tal Brosh


Page 45 Review by Stephen

One of the best evocations of limbo I've ever read.

Not a void, certainly not an apocalypse, but a monotony, an inertia instead. Yes, if there's one word which distils the world this young man wakes up to, and the lines and colour with which it's described, it's supremely, superbly "inert".

Here's how we begin:

"It was too bright already.
"He used to wake up naturally when it was still dark.
"He'd overslept."

So far, so familiar - too familiar, perhaps! But the young man isn't panicking. He doesn't appear to have a job. In fact, he doesn't appear to have a future - he doesn't reference it once - just a past.

I'm a little creeped out by that already.

"There was nothing out there."

There really isn't. Just one flat tone for sky, and a pale yellow ochre for not-sky.

"The buildings were gone. And the streets.
"The world wasn't there anymore. Just a vast and empty plain.
"A big flat thing."

The two colours could not have been better picked, and the wording below is perfect:

"It was made out of artificial sand or soil or something like it.
"The sky looked different too. It was like one specific blue pantone, no shades, one colour that probably had a name made out of letters and numbers.
"Only one colour."

His flat - as he left it, falling asleep the night before - is the only thing left. The other apartments are all empty of objects and people and, as I say, there's no future. Sure, he can squeeze out the single orange that's left in his fridge, but when he turns on the taps, there's nothing forthcoming.

Finally, there's the sound. And, after reading this, it will come as no surprise that Spanish-born Chino Moya is a film-maker.

"And the silence. His flat wasn't noisy anymore.
"No cars. No trains running right below the window.
"There was no sound at all.
"When there was silence in a film, there was still some sound. A room tone. That was what he'd learnt in film school. Now there was no tone."

Once more, limbo and inertia.

Slowly, the young man begins to explore what's left of his surroundings, assess his situation and reflect on his past.

Past and present, his expression barely changes.