Unable to paint and unable to leave his own home, Luca must choose between the light and the dark before his pain becomes too great for him to bear and pushes him over the edge.

From director Candida Brady (and Reel Women approved) comes the UK premiere of MUSE. The tense and slow-burning story of a talented but suffering artist, Luca (Géza Röhrig) who has to face his very real demons if he wants to escape the prison of his own making and be able to paint once more.

Luca suffers from extreme agoraphobia and, as a result, is unable to leave the abandoned building he calls home. The minimalist set design and simplistic plot emphasise just how empty Luca’s life has become, with the only highlight being the occasional phone call. Time is irrelevant – almost non-existent – in this dark and hidden world. This is complemented by the unusual and artistic lighting and avant-garde cinematography, accompanied by a brooding score which heightens the tension and expresses Luca’s inner turmoil without the need of much dialogue.

MUSE is a character study of mental illness, specifically depression and severe anxiety, as well as the damage unrelenting pressure and expectations can cause; showcasing that for some, art truly is pain. Communicating with his lost love seems to be Luca’s only chance of setting himself free but he has to be the one to take initiative and accept the helping hand.

MUSE had the audience still and silent throughout, as all members were focused on the familiarity of the tale of a haunted artist, creative challenges and unrequited love.

MUSE will be showing again on Sunday 20th at 17:30 at the Emmanuel College.

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