Review: The Pyramid Texts (2015)

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: The Pyramid Texts (2015)

Films come in all forms and this one, a monologue, is totally unique. Directed by brothers Paul & Ludwig Shammasian, The Pyramid Texts is based on Geoff Thompson’s personal and raw screenplay. The story was initially inspired by a meeting between Thompson and veteran Scottish actor James Cosmo when they discovered their mutual interest in boxing.

Aging boxer Ray (James Cosmo), is wanting to make amends for his failures, particularly towards his son (Ethan Cosmo). “I’ve got so much to say to you kid. So much unsaid. What I didn’t teach you, what I was afraid to teach you was that everyone is full of fear, some people just hide it better than others. We are all afraid.”

There is a question at the heart of the film: ‘if we have been remiss in our life and hurt the people we most love, is it ever too late to redress the balance?’.  While maintaining the feeling and intimacy of a theatre performance, keeping the spectators outside the ring, Ray performs to a single camera in the middle. He is completing the one last thing he feels compelled to do – filming himself reminiscing over a lifetime of fights, aligned with boxing metaphors, until he gradually lets his guard down.

His confessions lead to an emotional conclusion. The title alludes to the original Pyramid Texts, a collection of ancient Egyptian religious texts primarily concerned with protecting the pharaoh’s remains, reanimating his body after death, and helping him ascend to the heavens. The relevance to Ray’s attempt at atonement becomes obvious as the film progresses.

Made with a £20,000 budget and an extremely tight schedule (only five half-days of shooting) due to filming in a busy gym, the result is slick, aesthetically beautiful and a great example of a man confronting his demons as well as regrets, a role that James Cosmos has declared his toughest one yet.

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An Australian who has spent most of her adult life in Paris, Louise is a sometime photographer, documentary-maker, writer, researcher, day-dreamer and interviewer, who prefers to start the day at the local cinema’s 9am session.



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