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MUCES 2013

Love Eternal: Ian and the living dead


- The Segovia European Film Festival presented the second feature by Brendan Muldowney, which was born from collaboration between Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Japan

Love Eternal: Ian and the living dead
Robert de Hoog and Amanda Ryan

As a child, Ian (Robert de Hoog) saw death up close on two unforgettable occasions: the death of his father as they were playing together chatting on walkie-talkies and the suicide of one of his classmates who hung himself in the forest. When it comes to his mother’s turn, we witness a kind of hikokomori on screen (ed.: a phenomenon of teenager isolation) of a nearly expressionless character who, at the age of 26, is a “defective human being” following the instructions and practical advice left to him by is mother in a sort of “bible”.

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The starting point of Love Eternal [+see also:
film profile
, an adaptation by director and screenwriter Brendan Muldowney of a Japanese novel by Kei Oishi (known for his horror stories such as Apartamento 1303), could make the audience think that they are being presented with a genre movie. However, from the very first minutes of the film, the limpid photography of Tom Comerford and the both aerial and insistent original soundtrack by Bart Westerlaken guide the spectator on a path of understanding and empathy for a character in appearance dehumanized and monstrous.

By trying to kill himself by inhaling the fumes of his car, Ian will in fact be saved by a family barging in to his Irish forest retreat. Slowly, this event will open him up to society, firstly through necrophilia and then through the help Ian will bring to desperate women. Successively, characters played by Emma Eliza, Amanda Ryan and Pollyanna McIntosh will represent the evolution phases of the character towards his reconciliation with the world of the living.

To meet the challenge that this film represents, Muldowney spent four years in pre-production and a year and a half in post-production. The result, of impeccable craftsmanship, is infused with Japanese influence in its atmosphere, although the director truly managed to give the story a more European tone.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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