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Digital Griffix Awards interview with J. Aldric Gaudet, best experimental film nominee

“Pit & Pendulum” is a 27 minute experimental film based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s horror classic. The film is an experiential experiment. The words of the author provide the texture for the Audience’s imagination. It is the terrorizing story of a person sentenced to death who becomes the plaything of their jailers. They are sent walking through a dark room in hopes they will fall into a pit. When that doesn’t happen they are tied down on a table to watch the painfully slow descent of a swinging pendulum with a sharp-edged blade aimed at their stomach. Escaping from the blade did not mean freedom. The walls of the dungeon grow blistering hot first, then squeeze together to push them to the brink of the pit, before being saved at the very last second. Each horrific moment is shared with the Audience in simple images for them to flesh out under the spell of Poe’s words. Black-Box Cinema means minimalistic sets and props illustrate the original words, in this case making use of Poe’s own technique – The Telegraph Mosaic (as Marshal McLuhan termed it) – in visual form. The Audience’s imagination is the architect of the dungeon, its textures, and its smells, and can create far more terrifying images than any that can be made. In this manifestation, the gender of the protagonist has been neutralized, and Poe’s text judiciously edited to remove references to time and place, making it universal.

Director Biography - J. Aldric Gaudet

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