Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Short Film Review #31

Forgive
Sometimes, the simplest things are the best, and so it proves with Manjinder Virk’s film Forgive. A two-hander split between two timeframes, an estranged father and son reaching out but at different times, forgiveness paling into insignificance in the face of forgetting. Sacha Dhawan and Abdi Gouhad are both superb as the scars left by the sins of the past bite hard, but not quite hard enough to eradicate all traces of familial love as the unpredictability of the future shakes all certainties. Beautifully restrained film-making at its best.

Just in Time
Adam James, oh Adam James. Many of us have had to take jobs for the necessity of it but few have the evidence so plain to see. This corporate video for DHL is pretty much excrutiating, not least due to its length – I can’t work out what purpose it is meant to serve at all, as its way too long for an advert…who knows.

Get the Picture
Photojournalism has become something of a hot topic in theatre, plays like Chimerica and The Body of an American exploring what it means to be there but not there, to report but to not engage, to tell the truth or to tell stories… Rupert Wyatt’s Get The Picture occupies similar territory with some amazing production values for a short film as two war correspondents are taken to a bombed out town in an unspecified war zone to witness the execution of the alleged bombers. Is justice being served or are the combatants sensing a photo op? Lloyd Owen’s Jake thinks the first, Brian Cox’s Harry senses the latter and over a handle of hugely tense minutes, their certainties are well and truly shaken.

Jubilee
Rao’s second film is an intelligent look at the way far-right politics has insinuated its way into contemporary society, how it has had to adopt a slick modern face to work its way into the political establishment but that its innate ugliness remains at its heart. Jubilee follows two representatives of the Patriot party as they doorstep a council estate but whilst Patrick Baladi’s suave Nick is the savvy forward-thinking one, Sam Spruell’s Phil is pure unreconstructed thuggery and though they’re ostensibly preaching the same message, they soon diverge to violent effect. But where Rao cleverly succeeds is in making both of them utterly convincing in their beliefs, unshaken in their conviction even after the inevitable ruckus. Powerfully done.

The Pizza Miracle
Hand on heart, I absolutely loved The Pizza Miracle. This Tony Grisoni short is practically bonkers – a mixture of a gorgeous surrealist classic and a gently moving tale of a son’s grief. I could describe it to you but I reckon you should just watch it and enjoy.

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