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The Professor N.5 (2009)

A Short Movie by Riccardo Arena

Duration: 25min. Format DV-PAL, B / N, 2009
Written and directed by Riccardo Arena
Music & Sound Matteo Mariano
Voice over Ettore Distaso

IL PROFESSORE N°5 – Riccardo Arena from on Vimeo.

The Professor N° 5 tells the story of a man who finds work as a laboratory test candidate, paid to undergo experimental therapies in a clinic called “The Centre”.
During his stay, the protagonist describes the architecture of the building, his relationship with the nurses and his experiences of the therapy. After a brief period as a night watchman, the doctors subject him to a series of treatments collectively called “spiritual technology ” – anomulous and exhausting tests, the application of which is obscure.
These tests, as we discover during the video, reveal the psychic preparation he undergoes to become “Professor N ° 5″. Professors are agents trained in the transmigration of the mind through the use of other people’s bodies. They fulfil delicate tasks on behalf of the Centre. The host subjects are called ” Blocks of discontinuity”.
Once he becomes an agent, he must carry out a series of highly unusual missions that take him on an oneiric journey through the explorations and reflections of his host subject’s mental landscape. This departure into the multiplicity of the human soul has extreme consequences: the dissolution of his memory and a fading recollection of his former personal appearance.


The film is a an experiment in visual and textual composition, created through the montage and editing of footage collected over the past six years in the course of my travels and random shootings.
The aim was to create a complete and coherent narrative through the use of unscripted clips. The text, situations, and unfolding events were suggested directly through the editing process.
The protagonist appears as a narrative voice, which, initially his recognizes as the voiceover that tells him of his past experiences at the Centre, and later, the same voice is associated with real time actions, indicating* that the protagonist can inhabit a host subject.
This artifice enables me to treat the people appearing in the shoots as a single actor with multiple faces, and consequentiality, makes all actions appear as though they were carried out by a single subject.