This September Transylvanian filmmaker and student philosopher, Manuel Cojocaru, released his first short feature film, Wild Boars. The seven minute length film embarks on a surreal and psychological journey through the confession of Mr Jones’ murderer, played by Cojocaru himself.
Fans of David Lynch will admire Wild Boars for the convergence between reality and a dream-like realm. The film is an exploration into the psyche, ascribing to Sigmund Freud’s theory of the ‘id’ — the deepest and most primitive part of one’s subconscious.
The film projects the unsettling concept that buried deep in one’s psyche is an evil intuitive that is concealed by the ego. The film is narrated by Cojocaru’s character as guilt begins to consume his mind.
Wild Boars relies heavily on cinematography to convey the existential fear of death and loneliness, and innate desire for immortality, leaving little room for script to dictate the story. The film opens with an overhead shot of Cojocaru’s character laid in a fetal position, externalising the primitive nature of the id that once dominated our minds as newborns.
Natural elements like lighting used for symbolism, combined with abstract editing like double exposure photography, creates a blurred state between surrealism and reality, paying tribute and inspired by auteur, David Lynch.
Similar to the work of Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky, a metaphysical motif prevails throughout the film. In an early scene Cojocaru’s character emanates a strong sense of desperation by tightly grasping a bunch of orchids — which is referred to as a ‘symbol of human mortality’ early in the dialogue. A medium close up shot of the orchids set alight, objectively emanates the death of the soul. It’s this powerful iconography, where each frame is carefully crafted, that makes Wild Boars so mesmerising.
Each viewing is personalised and unique. Cojocaru’s unapologetic approach of using silent and slow paced sequences provides moments to reflect on your depiction of each scene — almost like being handed a blank piece of paper to quickly jot your notes down — making your own thoughts become part of the narrative.
A generous 4 star rating is deserved for Wild Boars. At times, transitions between scenes felt choppy but considering Cojocaru produced the film independently with little to no budget, and on basic editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro, a few minor flaws are forgivable.
Wild Boars is an eerie, mesmerising short film produced in the same style as a volatile and chilling nightmare. This film is best described as an uncomfortable expression of the sinister desires our subconscious craves.
Whether you’re seeking a quick hit of escapism, or a rabbit hole as deep as your 3am thoughts, you will, undoubtedly, feel compelled to rewatch immediately after your first viewing.