Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

lördag 17 mars 2018

THE VIDEO DIARY OF RICARDO LOPÉZ (2000)

Directed by: Sami Saif
Written by: Sami Saif
Stars:  Ricardo Lopéz

Country: Denmark
Style: Documentary
Runtime: 1h 10min
DATE: 2018-03-17 | WRITER: SEMENYA FRENJANI SCREENSHOTS:

I don't know how many of you readers are familiar with Ricardo Lopéz and his macabre mischief in the past, but he was the person who tried to kill the Icelandic artist and actor Björk Gudmundsdóttir. I'm not a big fan of Björk myself, but according to what I have heard and seen from her previous works, it has been okay in my opinion, not least Lars von Trier's movie 'Dancer In the Dark' (2000), which is one of the very few movies that has set deep grooves in my head.

On September 12, 1996, an obsessed fan named Ricardo Lopéz sent a poisonous letterbomb to artist Björk Gudmundsdóttir. López recorded himself during the process when he made the bomb intended to kill her. Lopéz describes his love and obsession with Björk in an almost 22-hour video. Here we follow his construction of the device, his thoughts about his love for her and also racist comments against Björk's ex-boyfriend Goldie – a black guy. We learn to know Richard from the depths and we literally get his life served on silver platter. He tells us about his relationship to Björk, his innermost wishes, and that he is afraid to commit suicide before his mother is dead because she's the only person he is comforting to. The story ends when Lopéz shaving his hair, painting his face with red color and committing suicide by shooting himself in front of the camera as a part of 'The Best Of Me'.

For a better understanding about Ricardo; during that time he was twenty-one year old, he was born in Uruguay and raised in Georgia before settling in Florida. He worked as an exterminator, a job that frustrated him because he felt it was pointless and beneath him. What Lopez really wanted was to be an artist, but because of fear of failure or being rejected, he dropped out of high school and never even bothered applying for art school.

About the documentary then, It nearly feels unreal to actually watch this kind of sick and sad individual, and above all; to witness his suicide. It seemed that this was a classic case of mental illness, but it wasn't only his mental health that was the basis of his execution, he was also a loner without any friends which can be compared to any school shooting, and that's nothing I defend, but if you look realistically to the events, the causes are usually about extinction and bullying.

To see Ricardo deteriorate as an individual during this hour is moving, graphic and intimate, I can't describe it more than so. It's not very exciting to watch a man who plans to kill an indivual and later commit suicide in front of the camera. But it's kind of remarkable because what you see happens in reality, and here you can take part of and watch the truth in the white eye. It wasn't long ago a great wave of so-called "suicide forums" broke out, where users on the Internet fought and force each other to become suicide via webcams, and I believe the case with Ricardo is just as pointless as that.

But to return to the subject, I would have witnessed Ricardo somewhat sharper as a person, I wanted to see his real anger and folly, but unfortunately he couldn't fully express himself in the documentary. He mostly acted like a clown and made fun of himself which is a clear sign of bad self-esteem and depression. There's something serious that has happened in his life, and therefore he chooses to execute on innocent victims, which happened to be Björk this time.

This documentary doesn't cover the whole truth. Ricardo recorded eleven two-hour cassette tapes about the document. This one-hour fragments were picked out by Danish director Sami Saif (Dogville Confessions, Family, Tommy) and editor Janus Billeskov Jansen (Pelle the Conqueror, The House of the Spirits) to get the most important ingredients. But you can find each part on YouTube if you wanna dig further in the case.

I don't recommend this to anyone as long as you're not interested in the case itself. And if you're only looking for to watch a real suicide, well, then it's pretty meaningless. It doesn't happen much during these 70 minutes. We meet a naked and confused man who wants to share his unimportant complaints to our viewers. But from what you get, you don't even lift your eyebrows and that's for sure. But finally, you don't want to feel sorry for him, but sometimes you really wonder what the reason for his mental state has been.


My rating: 2 out of 5











MORE DETAILS:

Produced by: Jonas Frederiksen
Cinematography by: Lucifer Valentine
Editing by: Janus Billeskov Jansen
Special Effects by: none
Language: English
Color: Color

DistributorDanmarks Radio (DR)



SEMENYA FRENJANI:

Owner of and writer for Twisted Minds. French Canadian weirdo, lives in the past, afraid of the future, but curious about what to come. Beginner in extreme horror and visual arthouse, and finds it exciting to discover the world down under. Growed in the 80's and discovered cheesy classics, among others John Carpenter, Wes Craven, David Cronenberg, Stuart Gordon. Live for electro, rock and metal music and have a long story full of concert memories. This is the first time he takes the interest in writing about what he is experiencing.
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