In the hive-like domed city in a dystopian world of Bare Bones, humanoids march in lockstep, their faces and individuality hidden behind masks and robes, their movements constrained.  Synthesized narration from the point of view of an artist expressing dissatisfaction (“I was ungrateful, marginalized, a filthy beast”) underscore montages of work, ritual, movements, and ever, ever, people dying in the background, to no reaction from the masses. They walk and walk, seemingly oblivious to falling bodies, hanging corpses, and simple butchery of naked bodies to provide food and art for the geometric and rendered city.

Outside the dome, other humanoid crawl across a red-sand desert, dying, and while most seem to be trying to get to the city, at least one has been ejected from it. A moody didgeridoo underscores throughout, making me wonder if this is Mars or the outback?

This short is French and bleak. The outsider is paralleled with a cockroach interloper, both worshiped and repellant to the automata running the city, before being finally squished.  The only thing disrupting this world is some spilled paint, which is quickly and robotically disappeared. This is Pink Floyd’s The Wall from a philosophy student, Holy Mountain but not sexy or grotesque.

Bare Bones is currently playing at Slamdance 2021.


6 out of 10 Bleak Suicides


Bare Bones

Bare Bones – Trailer from Meryem Lahlou on Vimeo.

Runtime: 9 Minutes
Directed By: Meryem Lahlou
Written By: Meryem Lahlou


About the Author: Scix Maddix

Scix lived through the 80s but doesn't remember much of the 70s. Horror writer, improv actor and haunted house monster trainer and designer, Scix also likes to emcee underground burlesque and vaudeville shows in Salt Lake City.