Graffiti (2015)

Lluís Quílez’s short science fiction drama reminded me of the famous opening line from Frederic Brown’s “Knock”: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” Director Quílez centers his science fiction tale on a man named Edgar who spends his days biding his time for inevitable rescue, and looking for some semblance of companion ship in his every day life. Edgar walks around the ruins of his city after an undisclosed “incident” has caused many to flee or die off.

Living with his dog, he roams the city branding highly radiated areas, and basically living a routine of silence and patience. When the word “Anna” is spray painted on a wall one day, he realizes he’s not alone in the city after all. Soon he begins a conversation with the mysterious individual who insists on talking with Edgar through black spray paint. Despite the fact Edgar has never seen Anna, he begins to form a bond with her, and opens himself up to getting to know her and perhaps build a bond. Along the way director Quílez builds a lot of questions that are never answered, and opens the door for a ton of ambiguity.

As hinted through a scene involving oddly placed scenery, is Edgar so anxious for companionship that he’s losing his mind? Is there actually an Anna? Is she hiding herself for a reason? And if he does ever meet her, does he want to? Is his loneliness setting himself up for danger lurking in the environment? Has he built her up so much he’s doomed to be disappointed? “Graffiti” examines the ideas of loneliness and isolation, and how human beings can long for companionship and become starved for it in the harshest circumstances. Director Lluís Quílez offers a beautifully filmed, thought provoking and oddly eerie statement about our hunger to socialize.

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