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Subject: PLUG magazine review

Pearry Reginald Teo
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Date Posted: 16:57:25 04/30/02 Tue

Review of Liberata Me
Rating: 5 Plugs(Electrifying! Shockingly good!)

I was taken aback when I saw Liberata Me. It told a
very strange and peculiar story that only repeated
viewing made clear. It was clearly targeted to a
Gothic/Industrial audience with an industrial sound
track blaring through parts and the central character
becoming this Gothic tragic hero that makes the Crow
look like a little wuss banging his guitar. It was an
amazing piece of work as the film depicted a strange
character going through a terrible tragedy, while
having an extremely targeted setting, and having
several metaphorical elements and pieces come into
play. A very difficult mesh of ideas to pull together
and bring it to screen, especially for a first film by
director who has never taken a film class ever. And
it Worked. Pearry Reginald Teo did an amazing job and
after leaving me speechless on first viewing I had to
see the short film again the next day with different
people. The movie is an instant Goth cult film. Every
scene is lighted so harshly and with so much grit and
decay, that you feel the characters are communicating
with each other in post-nuclear waste land complete
with a night club of mutated freaks.
Beginning with central character, Julian, getting an
impressively large tattoo of a demonic ouija board on
his back by a buck toothed midget, the film sets its
pace of freakish behavior at a fast trot. As Julian
then seems to melt into a music video the fast trot
quickly speeds up to a marathon of strange imagery and
juxtapositions. The simplest way to describe the
movie is a desparate young man who has let drugs
consume his life wants to die. At the beginning of the
movie he has memories of already killing himself with
a pistol but still finds himself very much stuck in
his addiction and, adding confusion to insult, with a
large ouija board on his back as well. He is still
trapped in his own misery with his dealer and junkie
roommates. His sisterís brief appearance and concern
for him only making his fall even worse. He attempts
overdose and while passed out his junkie roommates get
spooked out by his mysterious board tattoo when they
play on it over his unconscious form. Julian recovers
again and then decides to have some wicked fun at his
apparent incivility until the end of the film where he
realizes that he has been putting himself through his
own hell. He could have prevented all his misery and
then the film begins a morality question. What would
you do if you had a second chance on life? If you
could relieve the last twenty minutes of your life,
what would you do differently?
A short film is a very different kind of animal than a
regular two hour long moving picture. In the same way
a short story canít be constructed like a novel. A
short film has to have a body with guts and feeling,
yet does not have all the extra trimmings and devices
its longer brother has at its disposal. In the little
time it has to tell a story, it had better use every
minute to its fullest and only convey a short idea in
the best way to the audience. Liberata Me succeeds
amazingly well, better than most film studentís
desperate attempts of aping their favorite directors.
I loved the attention to detail in every scene. From
where Julian shoot heroin into the crown of his Jesus
Christ tattoo on his fore arm, to the graffiti at the
Goth Club where he comes to his awakening, every thing
we see was a carefully planned effect. And director
Teo didnít have any formal training for film editing
or directing, filmed with a single camera, and edited
on a single home computer; which adds more weight to
the claim that he is a rising star that definitely
needs to be watched. And a couple days later I was
drawn again to watching a very compelling and haunting
half hour.

Brandon Magness
CEO PLUG Magazine

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