Feature, by Shezad Dawood, plays with an imperfect mimesis of the genre traditions of Western and zombie films. This inadequacy is an intentional way of questioning our basic knowledge of genre traditions. Using reversal of stereotypes, along with the vague narrative and the discrepancy between scenery and characters, the alienating effect continually stands out: the fetishistic cowboys who literally represent the reversal of the cowboy fetish, the destruction of clear causality and the sudden appearance on a Western filmset, incongruously built in the middle of a British country idyll, of the Hindu god Krishna and the Northern European goddess Valkyriel. This is all a reference to oneself, familiar and at the same time strange, like the second part of Goethe’s Faust.
In addition, Shezad Dawood questions the possibilities of interpretation in a provocative, but humorous way: a film critic wearing Indian feather headdress appears unexpectedly, talking at first about film noir and then later about both a special camera technique and myths. But the critic’s analysis doesn’t help very much with our understanding of the film: indeed, his interference in the film broadens the discrepancy between viewer and screen. Because of this playing with the viewer’s expectations Feature maintains its tension in spite of the camera movement and the poetic language of the images that characterize this Brit-Western film. (Sung Un Gang)
*We can only show an excerpt of this work in the online archive. For the complete version, please contact the artist.