to Disappear Completely" is a bittersweet psychological
study in humanity
a short film that leaves you thinking
about your own life when you're done watching it. In a
way, it is a film for other filmmakers even more than
it is a film for the 'normal' people in society, for it
deals with the alienation that occurs behind the lens
of a camera.
though the basic story line in "How to Disappear
Completely" is applicable to filmmakers everywhere,
the main character is actually a still photographer. The
main character (David House) stalks wildlife with his
35 mm SLR as a nature photographer. However, through narration,
we discover that the photographer used to photograph people
in their natural settings, like malls and cities. However,
after seeing man's inhumanity to man too many times, he
realized that people were no better than animals. And,
if he were going to photograph animal-behaving things,
he'd just as soon photograph real animals in the outdoors.
more he photographs nature and its outdoor inhabitants,
the more he learns to blend into his surroundings until,
eventually, it's as though he disappears completely. He
never thought about how this could be a negative thing
until, one day, he rounds a bend in the forest and sees
a beautiful girl (Michelle Munden) walking down a country
road through the forest. He longs to go up and talk with
her, but finds that he has become so used to being invisible
that he no longer knows how to bridge the gap between
himself and others. All he can do is take pictures of
her from a distance, cursing his own alien-ness as she
walks away. So enrapt is he by the beautiful woman, that
he slowly walks down to the road to continue taking pictures
of her departure. It is here that his rapture nearly gets
him killed, for he almost fails to notice a speeding car
that rushes down the road. At the last moment he is able
to throw himself out of the way, but the girl he was photographing
only moments ago is not so fortunate.
film ends with the main character struggling with his
inability to be 'visible'--to reach out, to communicate--when
it was most needed.
that's left are pictures in a dark room--and regret.