Italian conceptual-art movie ‘Zeus Machine. L’Invincibile’ (Zeus Machine: The Invincible) is a chaptered series of recreations of the twelve mythological labours of Hercules.
Far better suited to the considered silence of an art gallery...
Somewhat cryptically unrelated to its title, the movie depicts how each labour might look in the modern world. Cars shred their tyres whilst pulling impossible weights, trainee bullfighters stare down mechanised bulls and silent, marble statuettes double for a suspicious, chattering pantheon of gods are all isolated examples. So, depending on both your appetite and familiarity for the mythology that each scene alludes to, ‘Zeus Machine. L’Invincibile’ is either engrossingly, entertaining or mind-numbingly vacuous in its intent.
Closing on the genuinely arresting image of a group of acrobat climbing a huge, greasy pole, the real venue for this film becomes increasingly obvious. Far better suited to the considered silence of an art gallery, this is one challenging piece of conceptual art, that misplaces its labours where it might have been better suited.