emerging swiss erotic drama short dan nieders monochrome
Trigger warning: discussing subjects of
warning: Adult content
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Dan Nieders
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October 27, 2022
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Blood, love, and introspection: the colors of Monochrome

From red to blue back to red to purple, Monochrome takes you on a journey where reality and fantasy intertwine. At the outset, you are faced with a stare you can’t defy, the face of the one you’ll be trapped inside the mind. The ride might be bumpy, but that’s simply the road to self-discovery.

Some films are better seen without knowing anything, and Monochrome is certainly one of them. Yet it’s too tempting not to take a dive into this bewitching movie, addictive to the point you’ll rewatch it to find new angles to explore.

Monochrome is a Swiss short released in September 2022. It’s the first of its director, Dan Nieders, and the fruit of a long process. Taking its source from a novel he had written at 20, the project was then adopted by a Canadian director, in Switzerland at the time. Due to personal issues, the director had to go back to Canada, but this didn’t stop Dan Nieders from taking to the screen what he had written years ago. Helped by producer Lisa Skory, he directed his first short, and Monochrome was born.

For 13 minutes and 15 seconds, you’re taken inside the mind of Juan, the narrator, as they try to make sense of their desire and own self through Elise. It’s the kind of film where so much yet so little happens, and so many conflicting feelings emerge as you watch each shot, transported between colors. As you’re trapped in Juan’s mind, you’re also stuck inside their apartment, an overpowering effect amplified by an anxiety-inducing soundtrack created by Grégoire Durand, awarded at the LGBTQ+ Los Angeles Film Festival.

As an introspective narrative, Monochrome blurs the lines between reality and fantasy and challenges masculinity and femininity, to make tabula rasa. It’s an offer of a new paradigm, although achieved achingly, where unconditional love is the keyword.

Produced by the Swiss creative agency Mazette based in Lausanne, Monochrome is the outcome of a collaboration of friends, and it can be felt in the chemistry and complicity actors have with each other’s, and the coherent ensemble which results.

It explores non-binarity, perception, reflection, self-love, and transcendence, all through a fresh perspective. If it raises difficult questions and tackles complicated feelings and situations, it’s a catharsis as much for the narrator as for the viewer.

Watch the trailer of Monochrome down below!


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