The Simple and Beautiful in Ludo Vici’s ‘No Goodbye’

Not every film needs to knock your socks off with incredible effects, action packed scenes, beautiful people or even emotional monologues. Sometimes you only need your actors, some good dialogue and a camera.

Ludo Vici’s film No Goodbye is a beautiful yet simple film that shows two people, a burlesque dancer played by Sandra Steffl, and a mysterious man in the dancer’s room, played by Thomas Peters.

Along with being beautiful, this film also leaves us with more questions than answers. We don’t always need to know what is happening or why it is, but we can assume that the mysterious man is Death and the dancer (Steffl) is having some talking to him, so many emotions rushing through her mind. In what feels like it could easily be an episode on The Twilight Zone, Director Ludo Vici took a simple yet effective approach to this intriguing film, showing us how it’s done.

We first see Steffl entering her dressing room after a great performance where she captivated the audience. Pleased with herself she is looking into the mirror when she notices the mysterious man behind her. While discussing his issues with her performance he almost magically makes white roses appear. He also gives her a glass of wine, trying to please her as he knows the end is near. Her emotions begin to get the better of her soon thereafter. The man is just listening as she discusses what the audience wants, first loves and her fears. Not only is she venting to him about her emotions and what she thinks, she is also stalling. He wants her to go with him and is trying to avoid conversation but she continues to speak. She knows that whenever their conversation ends, so does her life, she clearly wants to get have some extra time.

Details. Details. Details. The camera work by Thomas Bauer in the film really stands out. We see the focus on the characters and the items in the scene, and there is always a close look at the actors and items. Luci wants us to focus on the characters and the dialogue and Bauer’s camera work help us focus on those things. Along with the camera work we also get a great score that gives it The Twilight Zone-esque feel. We hear the sounds changing just as Steffl’s mood and emotions change. When she is discussing the pain she suffered when she was no longer with her lover, the score stops and we only hear her voice, then the somber tones to go along with her pain. Details like the camera shots and score are things that typically go unnoticed and seem unimportant. But those things help this film stand out.

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Gabriel Ricard

Gabriel recently graduated from CUNY Lehman College, where he majored in English Literature. When he's not working he is watching professional wrestling or MMA (which he vicariously lives through the athletes).

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