Video

Badly Decomposed

Christopher McNamara and Dermot Wilson

1994, 28:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 898.03

A tongue in cheek look at the modern art of story-telling, Badly Decomposed plays with narrative techniques, interviewing conventions, and the smoky pseudo-noir environments created in Hollywood gangster films. A night clerk in a seedy hotel reluctantly spins a tale of mutilation and horror.
Integral to dramatic narrative is place. But place or setting is never whole, always relying on metonymy, that baggage- laden trope, to settle us in the fictive world. For Badly Decomposed the setting is metro Detroit and the claustrophobic, altered world of a seedy hotel lobby. We learn vicariously about the people who populate this place, about the rather mundane history of the main character and about the psyche of the character himself. Again the story is only a vehicle for communicating other, less structured or complete but perhaps more unsettling, stories.

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