Beauty is not a simple thing. On the contrary, beauty can destroy you if your admirer pushes the contemplative aesthetic experience towards an obsessive area. No, we’re not talking here about John Fowles’ famous novel The Collector, but about the short film ‘Shutter’ that re-contextualizes an admirer’s extreme passion for physical beauty against the backdrop of a contemporaneity which is constantly in search of new standards of perfection. Andres Ramirez’s project thus attacks the typology of the devouring aesthete / the beauty thief, orchestrating a brief dialogue between a detective and a professional photographer in order to bring the truth behind the disappearance of some models to light. Without pushing the interaction between the characters towards an extremely concrete area from a narrative point of view, voluntarily placing the atmosphere of the short film between thriller and horror, the director defines a consistent horizon of expectation for the viewers, confronting them with seemingly predictable characters, but whose intentions are never truly revealed. The pursuit of physical perfection in a world mad about absolute beauty standards in which the art of photography slowly becomes an art of (literary and literally) consuming the bodies of others is, in this case, a kind of intriguing metaphorical core the director wraps up in a minimalist detective mainstay, thus allowing viewers to attack various interpretive levels.
When Detective Mark tries to elucidate the mystery behind the strange disappearances of some models, he hopes that Charley will provide him the solution. But is Charley a reliable help, or does he have any other intentions?
Opting for a narration performed “simultaneously” on two temporal dimensions that both capture the dialogue between the two men and the most recent photo session, the director manipulates the assumptions of the viewers with a deceptive lightness, refusing to give them a clear denouement, pushing, in fact, this playing-detective structure even after the end of the project. However, Andres Ramirez’s short film is more than a classic “policier” experiment, since the aim of this project goes beyond a simple cat-and-mouse game, attacking both the conception of art and the boundary between ethics and aesthetics, in order to create a sub-textual micro-x-ray of a superficial world for which the physical qualities exceed the human qualities. ‘Shutter’ is a short film programmed to intrigue, dazzle and shock the viewers, providing them with an unconventional experience, an open ending, but also the strange feeling that the world Andres Ramirez captures here is not very different from the one we live in.