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AOOM (1970)
Article 4951 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-8-2015
Directed by Gonzalo Suarez
Featuring Lex Barker, Teresa Gimpera, Luis Ciges
Country: Spain
What it is: Arty comic fantasy

An actor tries to have a mystical experience in which he takes his soul out of his body and places it in the body of a doll.  When the doll and his own body get separated, he is believed to be dead by all but his lover, who visits the site of the experiment and attempts to track down the doll.

The opening scenes of this one make it look as if this is going to be one of those impenetrable art films that is designed to leave you scratching your head.  However, this one is surprisingly coherent; not only is the story quite easy to follow, but the fantastic content is a necessary part of the story and not just an arty trick.  Furthermore, the presentation is overtly comic and consistently amusing.  Even the odd touches that come out of nowhere manage to fit into the story; a scene where a madman murders a woman and a scene where another woman is searching for a lost rubber dinghy both come to mind in this regard.  This is one of those movies where I'm really grateful for the English subtitles; I wouldn't have been able to make heads or tails out of it by the visuals alone.  This is one of those movies that I really enjoyed, and the more I thought about it, the more I enjoyed it.  Granted, it's not for everybody, and you do have to have a weird sense of humor to appreciate it, but I found this one a lot of fun, and you can't say that about many art films.  Incidentally, the title is a variant spelling for the meditation sound generally written as "om".

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