What Giacomo Mantovani has essentially done in his inspired Short film, The Dark Side of the Mind is use a variety of differing genre styles to demonstrate the internal conflictions of the human race. Furthermore, he chooses not to use these styles and ideas about human confliction in isolation, but ties them together as one whole beast. The humour, through the over-exaggerated acting techniques, contrasts pertinently with the intensity and drama of the final scene, just as the idea of the purity of humanity contrasts with our innate animalistic and often murderous instinctiveness.
The film itself centres around our two main characters, Duncan and Gunda, who through unexplained means have managed to concoct a piece of technology capable of wiping out the entirety of the human race. How they created the weapon is not the focus of this film, instead it chooses to examine the oft duality of humankind. Stylistically The Dark Side of the Mind is quite wonderful, Mantovani using computer generated imagery to begin and end the film. Whereas often we find CGI implemented sporadically and without any real important conception outside of making something look prettier, The Dark Side of the Mind uses it to create an interesting sense of juxtaposition. Whereas the innate and integral idea behind the film is an issue of humanity, the computer imagery enhances the film by shadowing the underlying key idea. What’s brought about afterwards is a film that craves for the viewer to scratch beneath the surface, whilst simultaneously offering itself up as a spectacle. For want of a stretched comparison, it’s perhaps the equivalent of a jam doughnut: attractive on the outside, yet the deliciousness of the food is lurking seductively beneath.
Film can always be appreciated as a medium, for it has the poetic qualities to delve into issues that we tend to cast aside. The very essence of humanity is what Mantovani attempts to render vitally important to our understanding of ourselves as individuals. The two characters intertwine and casually move between each other as one conflicted example of a man. Perhaps we should take the director’s hint and attempt to assess ourselves before we become fragmented individuals, unrelentingly unfocussed and obsessed, lest we obtain the quite ruined, destructive personality of Gunda and Duncan.