Even though the artistic register differs, ‘Occam‘ reminds somehow of Proust’s famous madeleine. The big difference is that, if in the famous novel the main character accesses through the smell a quite inaccessible area from the mental substrate of his memories, Elliott Sulz’s short film is based on a similar experience supported by a musical exploration of a composer’s sensitivity. By adopting a metaphorical strategy that takes on a science-fiction props, this enigmatic project is not only a brief exploration of the turbulent existence of a young woman, but also an intelligent parable about the condition of the creator feeding their art from their own suffering. The psychological narrative thread is thus homogenized with an alert incursion through the inspirational crisis of an artist for whom music is both a fundamental purpose of their existence and a way of knowing or rehabilitating the memory defining their past. The final result will amaze and excite a broad pretentious audience, whether their preferences are focused on the premises of a sci-fi cinema experiment or on the subtleties of a visual and acoustic metaphor about the depths of the human soul.


Occam is a young woman captivated in a room, being forced to create extraordinary music. Despite her countless attempts and the authoritative insistence of a mysterious woman who frequently visits her, the protagonist fails to overcome the creative block. The ban on leaving that room to see her family starts obsessing Occam who eventually faces the absurd authority of the invisible kidnappers, starting in a desperate search for her own identity that will reveal the secrets of her inner music.


A bizarre combination of films such as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Whiplash’, Elliott Sulz’s project excels through a multitude of interpretations, setting a metaphor about the artificiality of objective reality behind which lies the true essence of creative sensibility. Indeed, the complexity of this short film is aimed at both an interpretation focused on the tormented destiny of a creator and a parable about the evolutionary trajectory of a personal trauma caused by a Freudian father’s spectrum, where music can be just a pretext the director intelligently orchestrates to suggest the fragility of the emotional balance of each individual in search of their true mission. This symbolic complexity is transposed by the director through an almost impeccable manipulation of the constitutive sensory elements, this project being the result of a subtle equilibrium between “aseptic” chromaticity, the dynamic transition of sequences and, last but not least, the profound and emotional instrumental music based on the compositional grammar of the waltz. ‘Occam’ is not only an attractive visual and acoustic film, it is also an intelligent example of the essentialization of several interpretative coordinates in a dynamic and emotional project about the beauty and fragility of the human soul overwhelmed by the desire to create and to self-discover.


For the multitude of meanings, for the sensitivity with which it analyses the inner turmoil of the individual dispossessed of their emotional integrity, but also for the intelligence with which the director balances the visual and musical dimension in an alert and intriguing project, ‘Occam’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the August 2018 edition of TMFF.