Nila (Rachel Grubb) is a top photographer, and her photographs of
suicide victims are the talk of the town. However, her success made her
lose her original vision, which has long been replaced by the praise
critics send her way and interpretation of her work by others. Nila talks
a lot about the cathartic effects of her work, but her understanding of
catharsis as such seems rather blurred.
One day, Nila is invited by her
art professor at college Nathan (Wolfgang Meyer) to join an art
collective, to create the ultimate piece of art as a group effort. She's
more than thrilled, but once she arrives, the whole thing starts to worry
her, as besides her and Nathan, the group consists of notorious artist and
sadist Ward (Brandon Slagle), a snuff film director, and a model (Devanny
Pinn) who shows signs of torture they plan to kill (for art's sake) - not
exactly a healthy enviroment ... but when the model explicitely asks to be
killed by Ward, that's reason enough for Nila to forget her reservations,
remember the word catharsis as an excuse for everything, and keep on
photographing while the poor girl is dying.
Certainly not the
easiest film to swallow (even if it's not all that explicit or extreme), cathARTic
puts the whole "anything for art"-concept to trial, something
that has gotten hold of what I would call "high concept art" and
mainstream media with all its reality shows alike, a concept that uses the
rather abstract word "catharsis" as an excuse for everything.
said all that, cathARTic is not the brainheavy and boring effort
that I have probably just made it to be though but a compelling character
study beautifully carried by a subtle directorial effort and its lead
Rachel Grubb alike.
The only real point of critique concerning this one
is that due to its mere 20 minutes of running time, several aspects of the
story go unexplored - but then again, a feture version might be in the