YouTube review by Dylan Chalwell
In this remarkable short film, visionary director Lavapix traces out the inability of modern innovation, commercialisation and quote-unquote “strategic brand management” to shield us from the inexhaustible pressure, heat and momentum of our own mortality.
Two simple questions lie at the heart of the film: How long will it take lava to destroy a can of Coca-Cola, and in what manner will this destruction be wrought?
Coca-Cola, harbinger of happiness and freedom and beauty and eternal youth, provides no protection from the unrelenting and uncaring flow of molten rock. And if Coca-Cola cannot protect us, then how can American Apparel, Sanitarium Weet-Bix, Colgate PowerFloss, or even the Cotton On Great Value for Summer Collection?
As in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, we find that the promise of freedom offered by commonly-accepted sources of meaning, such as multinational corporations, are empty words in the face of the cold – or should I say, unbearably hot – realities of the natural world. In a nod to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and some of Marcel Proust’s lesser-known works, after the first can is enveloped, the entire process is repeated. Not only is destruction final; it is inescapable.
Allow me to finally direct you to the title. Notice that two other products are mentioned – products used to record, to track, to catalogue. What is Lavapix’s purpose here – foregrounding the means of production? It is surely to say that our brands cannot stop the lava, but merely chart its flow.
As far as a worldview goes, I confess that it is too bleak for me. As far as a film goes, it is sublime.