Cells (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, 89)
Directed by: Wil Mathijs
Written by: Wil Mathijs
Cast: Martin Uit den Bogaard, Phil Bloom, Aldert Mantje, Jef Nietvelt, Hans Van Der Ham, Kaat Mertens, Jeroen Eisinga, Jaap de Ruig, Anne Berk, Jo Cauwenberghe
CELLS is a sticky documentary film about a simple man with a far from simple plan. Dutch-Belgo Martin Uit den Bogaard (67y.) is one of the world’s top 10 bio-artists. Uit den Bogaard illustrates through his work, not that there is life after death - but rather that there is life in death. Martin’s quest is to get his hands on a new human body part to use in his work while he wrestles to obtain the rights to his own body for his ultimate and final piece, after his death. How can Martin fight the law? Will Martin get a new human part to use in his work? How can his wife, Dutch Icon and painter Phil Bloom and his friend-colleague Aldert Mantje help him? Death is a part of life. Dying is nothing but a transformation. The long coercive power of the images of Martin's estranged world are shot in a super macro mode and force the viewers to see the beauty of decay and waste. Tainted prejudices are upturned. Devoid of religious intentions, everything is matter. All matter is continuously moving. Nature feeds itself. But what about intangible things like our soul and our consciousness? Does Uit den Bogaard breaks through the surface of his own philosophy? Or is it just too simplistic and superficial? This contemplative but humorous documentary confronts us vigorously with our own private life and mortality, the western taboo of death. A critical view on art and pseudo-art.