Written, Produced and Directed by Andrew John Rutter
Starring: Andrew John Rutter, John Charles Cooke, M. J. Simpson.
Plot in one sentence: A disturbed young man resorts to an extremely potent hallucinatory drug “Statica” to try and blot out memories of a family tragedy from his mind.
The first time I saw “Statica” it had me utterly confused. I couldn’t make head or tail of the story but knew that I liked what I saw! Andrew Rutter creates several very disturbing scenes which genuinely unsettle despite the obvious meagre means with which they’re achieved.
I watch dozens and dozens of self-funded digital films and, apart from frequent lack of originality, they have one weakness in common – poor editing (and sound mixing).
Luckily, such is not the case with “Statica”. The 38-minute film is paced expertly. In fact, some of the more striking images flash by on-screen with such speed that they may be missed should you happen to blink at the wrong moment! Surreal episodes such as the protagonist puking out a shiny black worm of sorts, or fighting a faceless creature rolled out of newspapers or a TV set eating a cat(!) stick with you long after the film is over.
The more obvious influences would be “Eraserhead”, “Tetsuo: the iron man” and Jan Schwankmeier’s work, I’d say.
Now I don’t enjoy Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Tetsuo” films, they’re too harsh and stressful for my taste. Yet Andrew Rutter has taken the best stylistic aspects of the original “Tetsuo” and put them to good use exploring themes of his own.
This is DIY filmmaking on a highest level. Considering that he’s handled 99% of the filmmaking chores himself (writer/producer/director/SFX/editor/leading man), it’s amazing how Andrew John Rutter had managed to achieve such a polished result. Seriously, I’d seen self-funded projects which had crews and some budget but they could only muster a fraction of visual splendour and precision that’s on offer in “Statica”.
Andrew is adequate in the lead role, which is quite demanding despite “Statica” being primarily a visual experience. There certainly is a story, but it’s told is such a disjointed, fragmentary fashion that several viewing will be required to solve the stylish puzzle.
I saw “Statica” three times, and first two I was just drinking in the visuals, while on third I’d begun making out the meaning of the character’s journey