A girl is trapped in an asylum with an evil nurse, puppets and ghosts. Shot in German Expressionist Silent Movie style, the film is whimsical, dark and surreal. Empire of Ache was recently acquired by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as part of their feminist film collection, curated by Miranda July.
Special attention should also be paid to a terrific trio of shorts from Lisa Hammer: Crawley (co-directed by Ben Edlund,
creator of The Tick comic book), The Dance of Death, and Empire of Ache. In styles that, respectively, pay homage to
Eraserhead- period David Lynch, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-esque German Expressionism, and classic silent-film technique, these movies
entertainingly encapsulate the predominant obsessions of goth—which include an unexpectedly wistful nostalgia for a misty past.
"I have always loved silent movies, old pictures, music, graphics and manners of dress," Hammer says. "When people mention movie stars,
I automatically think of Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton, and the Gish sisters. I do cherish the 'old days,' but I don't want to actually live in the past."
-Baltimore City Paper