“Hades” Is A Personal Hell Of The Mind
Before we get started, We Are Indie Horror would like to welcome a new writer to the team. Welcome J. Carlos Menjivar. Carlos comes from a writing and reviewing background. As a deep passion for film especially the horror genre, he will be a great addition to the team. For his first task we did not hand him the easiest of films. What you are about to read is about a german short film called Hades. The film is a surrealist Avant-Garde unconventional horror film, that We at We Are Indie Horror enjoyed the Hades out of. Using intense lighting and sharp cuts through a mixed media presentation created the perfect blend of surrealism, art, and horror. Now onto Carlos!
-We Are Indie Horror-
Artist Kevin Kopacka gives off a rare intellect that dissipated from the cultural sphere in the mid-twentieth century. He also happens to be the jack-of-all-trades mastermind behind the short film Hades in which he served as producer, writer, director, editor, and composer. Hades, was shot on a shoestring budget in four days along with cinematographer Lukas Dolgner. The short is loosely based on a friend’s short story “Statusbezogen” by H.K DeWitt. The actor’s include model Anna Heidegger (as the protagonist), musician Cris Kotzen (as Schweitzer), and Iman Rezai (as Charon), all close friends of Kopacka. The synopsis of Hades looks like this:
A woman is caught in an endless dream where she has to cross the five rivers of Hades – each representing different stages of her relationship.
Hailing from Berlin, but born in Austria, Kopacka studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and has crafted two other short films besides Hades, Nahe, Fremde Welt (2009) and Was Man Nicht Sieht (2012), as well as an abstract existential documentary in 2014 titled For Those Who Still Exist, inspired by his memories in a housing estate as a child and the mysterious disappearance of a friend that nobody else seems to remember.
Kopacka’s forte is in painting and video art (Kopacka sold some of his paintings to finance the film) and it shows in Hades. With a gorgeously haunting color palette Kopacka manages to evoke a range of emotions in a nightmarish dreamlike world chock full of references to Dante Alighieri, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Greek mythology. Kopacka also opted to shoot the flashback sequences on a Super 8, combining it with an already astute digital cinematography. Hades is both a beautiful and haunting nightmare of the mind fused with internal pain and struggle. The film is silent, sans Kopacka’s score, with inter-titles that are reminiscent of a silent film. Anna Heidegger’s character traverses a recurring dream where she comes to terms with her relationship and all the pain involved, but the film is much more than its simple synopsis opting for an avant-garde feel and look with erratic editing and nonlinear storytelling.
In fact, in the correspondence with Kopacka, he told us a little about himself. He alludes to Jean-Paul Sartre and refers to people as Hell. The quote he refers to is actually: “Hell is– other people!” from Sartre’s play No Exit. It is then with no surprise that Hades is an amalgam of philosophies which are brought with expertise in nightmarish fashion by Kopacka.
Kopacka has said that Hades is not a horror film in the traditional sense, only what he refers to as “realistic fears” when it comes to feelings that relationships manifest, and he’s right. There are no monsters in the closet or the presence of something beyond the grave lurking for redemption, in this one. In fact, as the Sartre quote illustrates the film is about the messiness of people, a deep seated psychological terrorism that only other human beings can inflict on each other.
Hades had its world premiere in the short film corner at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It has also had success at the Berlin Short Film Festival, and the 30Under30 Film Festival, NYC, amongst others. Kevin Kopacka is currently working on a prequel to Hades entitled Tlmea. And just announced; Hades won “Best Short”, “Best Cinematography” and “Best Editing” at the Independent Horror Movie Awards. Congratulations!
Below you can see the trailer for this bizarre and beautiful short. Click here to support their Facebook and to give it a like. Be sure to stick to We Are Indie Horror for all the latest information on Kevin Kopacka and his short film Hades.
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