Gilda looks in the Mirror Darkly

Evan Meena, reviewer

The enigmatic Ella y Yo starts out on a lonely apartment staircase with an old TV facing us from above. This intentionally black & white world gives way to a few stark swathes of color on the little TV before images of the alluring and terrifying, funny and dreadful face of a young woman – smoking, covered in blood, laughing, crying, scream, staring, thinking. Then in a cacophony of stream of consciousness dialogue in Spanish and English, we delve inside the head of this young girl and her thoughts on how other images force her to hate her own; question her own worth; and basically force her into a dark, dark night of the soul.

Gilda Mercado is more than just the actress of the piece, she is the writer, director, producer, and even the editor. Ms. Mercado basically filmed her darkest moments and pieces them together – for our enjoyment? Not quite. But for our deep understand and eventual look into our own souls and psyche. Midway through this, we see split screens and double imagery that becomes a kaleidoscope of self exploration and truly stunning video art.

Gilda Mercado’s Ella y Yo can be watched as a deep exploration of soul and psyche or it can be watched as a Stanley Kubrick-esque pageant of video imagery but regardless of why, it should be watched. Ms. Mercado’s facial work and whisper-like-thunder voice tells a compelling story and her physical machinations go from balletic to mythological to surreal.

This is not a pleasant little story but a brave unapologetic journey into the depth of the human condition. Simply putting it all in a TV will be a source of great analysis.

It makes one wonder what she could do in a full length film.

Currenly running at United Solo Screen:


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