You Don’t Need to Speak about ‘Alchemy of Spirit’

Alchemy of Spirit

Rating: 6 /10

Director: Steve Balderson

Writers: Steve Balderson

Style: Horror

Time: 135 minutes


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It’s all underneath, it’s all buried within. Haunting, bubbling and frustrating all at once, this movie has very little dialogue and a lot of visual artistry.

A man wakes up to find his wife dead next to him, and what he decides to do after is the man stepping out of reality and into fantasy.

He needs to create a new art installation, and yes, he has an idea. An ominous promise, and undertaking.

The artist Oliver Black is portrayed by Xander Berkeley who already has been honored for his portrayal of the man who tips slowly into the dark side.

His wife is portrayed by Sarah Clarke, a fine actress in her own right even though she sort of dead throughout the film.

The only other actor in this moody piece is cult indie icon Mink Stole, famous from the John Waters entourage of kooky characters she has portrayed throughout her career. I used to know Mink very well, and it’s lovely to see her over-the-top expressions of surprise and horror in the few meaty scenes she has.

She is persnickety and funny as she storms to the house to find out how her client is doing, and sniffs a nasty smell that she thinks is from the sewer. Give more roles to Mink Stole!

There are very few words for a long time in the movie, and it is chock full of magical moments and surreal ideas and it’s not clear what the artist sees is real or not.

Mink Stole is a pushy art dealer who keeps egging the artist on and wants to see what he’s coming up with, but is still a bit hesitant to see what it really is.

Some of the scenes set up by writer-director Steve Balderson are tableaux almost like Rembrandt paintings. Each scene is dealt with minuscule attention and lighting.

The artist paints his wife’s face and classic music plays. The violin, the piano, and the familiar melodies and waltzes that bathe the background as he worships his wife as a piece of art.

She talks too. Did she see Jesus or Buddha or a white light? “It’s hard to describe, it’s more like a feeling of liquids oneness,” she says.

This is a film you have to let wash over you, and just experience. The colors, the music, the visions is what it is all about. Don’t think too hard.

Now available on all VOD platforms.