The Beauty of Reverso Review
By Mikah Wolanski (March 11th, 2018)
Directed by: Michael Brent Adam
Produced by: Michael Brent Adam
Cinematography by: Lukas Kunzmann
Edited by: Lukas Kunzmann
Music by: HYENAZ
Film has been an artistic medium that has entertained viewers for over a century. Some may assume that, by now, there’s not much filmmakers can do to create something original anymore. Cynics would claim that new films are just recycled stories from the past, retold to new audiences. These people, I can assure you, have not seen ‘The Beauty of Reverso’.
In this 2018 documentary, director Michael Brent Adam dives into the story of ‘Reverso’, a Berlin performance artist known for his creative costumes and exuberant performances. This film completely reflects the subject in which it follows in its style and delivery. Let me explain this a little further. Reverso performs an “obscure” type of art – an atypical artistic show that is quite beautiful, yet very unusual from the conventional performance piece. Similar to Reverso’s performances, the film ‘The Beauty of Reverso’ is in many sense an experimental piece as it really doesn’t follow a common timeline and is shaped in a very obscure way. This project comes across very much as an extension of sorts to its subjects performances – which is not only a captivating way of delivering the piece, but I find it to be the perfect way for the story to be told.
‘The Beauty of Reverso’ is told through three parts, three chapters, each chapter further exploring what inspires Reverso in his performances, how they make him feel, and what brought him to start performing. This story could have easily been told in a typical way – the type with sit down interviews, facts scrolled across the screen, audience feedback, etc. But no, Adam veered so far off the usual documentary path and took a huge risk in his formation of this film – and damn, it paid off. I must mention that I’m struggling not to go on a complete rant of how AMAZING this film looks visually. EVERY-SINGLE-FRAME is utterly beautiful – colors, composition, movement, everything comes together with such perfection that I can say without hesitation that this is one of the most visually stunning documentaries I’ve ever seen. Cinematographer Lukas Kunzmann truly deserved high praise for his excellence behind the lens.
It would be simply insulting for me to continue on without mentioning music and editing. Lukas Kunzmann, who not only shot, but also edited the film, has a keen eye for how to masterfully cut together the images he has shot. This film is paced so well and doesn’t for a moment let itself drag or let the viewer be taken out. Paired with the music, there is very little to complain about with this film.
Although the film does contain some obscure imagery, which may make some who are easily off-put by such things slightly uncomfortable at times - in my opinion this is one of the major reason why the film works so well and is so special. Honestly, 'The Beauty of Reverso' is a near flawless film in my eyes. I can safely say that Michael Brent Adam has made a documentary that I will likely never forget, and for all the right reasons. That’s not something that’s easy to accomplish with short films – especially considering this film is only 9 minutes long. He's clearly a true directorial talent, and will definitely go on to great things. I can’t wait to see what he captivates us all with next. Bravo to everyone who brought this film together!
- Mikah Wolanski