To Be Alone (2017)

This is definitely a short film where the audience don’t know much at all. This does make it intriguing. You want to watch in hope of finding out more, but nothing is ever fully explained. This is clever in drawing in the audience. One of the main reasons for this is that there isn’t much narration, only two voicemails in which are not from the main protagonist anyway. It is very clever in the way they do this, it makes the music that more important and the acting of Timothy J. Cox to portrays all emotions that are supposed to be shown, which is well executed.

The beginning of the film portrays a repetition in life, something so simple brings in a lot for the audience to understand what this character is feeling. Then as the film progresses, the music is piercing which creates a particular mood within the audience. From the audience not entirely sure what is happening, to knowing that we’re going to find out soon, brings in a lot of suspense and tension. We are intrigued into discovering more and wanting to uncover the secrets that this man is clearly hiding. Questions are not answered in this short film, as more is uncovered, more questions are in want of being answered, but we are never entirely fully known to what has happened to this depressed man. This is also further seen that the short film is left on a cliff-hanger, leaving an unsure feeling in the audience. Due to the type of film this is, I’m guessing this is what is intended, therefore clever in drawing the audience in.

To Be Alone

Overall, as you can tell the film is intriguing in wanting to discover what has happened and what will be happening afterwards, even if you are not told anything. This is not the happiest of short films, but it is clever in the way that is done to draw in the audience and create tension. The close-ups of the camera, the misleading views, are what we are witnessing the whole story?

Thin Places (2016)

A short film that to say the least is really interesting. It’s not very long at all, only lasting just over ten minutes, however ten minutes that are so gripping for the audience, that you can’t stop watching. The audience are dragged in, absorbed, wanting to know what is happening, wanting to discover what the short film is actually about.

‘Thin Places’ does this in certain ways. These key parts to the film are extremely important. So straight away the main protagonist is talking to a camera, in what seems like an interview, but the audience doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or why he is there. Yet we have to listen, as we are taken to a visual impersonation of what he is saying. Therefore, the beginning of the film, the first couple of seconds bring you in straight away. Another thing is the graphic effects, the zooming in on faces, the blurred vision, the change in colour – it’s all very clever in creating a particular mood in the audience, everyone feels the same sitting watching it, still unsure to what is going to happen. Again, the music is key. It pierces the audience, making them think something creepy is going to happen, bringing a tension to the short film. All of this adds to the drawing in of the audience.

Thin Places

This isn’t a film of answers, yet a film of more questions. Some things are more understood, yet you’re left hanging in the end. It’s very clever in that sense. The audience are hooked in right away. It also helps that the quality is amazing, it is enjoyable to watch and the quality is appreciated in the film, with landscape and views within the plot.

Overall, it’s a very clever little short film. One to hook an audience in, and one to get the audience thinking right away, wanting to know what is happening, even if they never fully find out. I hope I’ve made you intrigued with this review, as I was intrigued while watching this film.

Emotional Motor Unit (2016)

A short film lasting only 22 minutes and the audience is dragged in, intrigued to what will happen, intrigued not knowing what is happening.

The film revolves around a writer (Graham Cawte), who spends his life alone, in isolation, scared of the fresh air and touching objects outside his home. He is a lonely writer, who the audience never know his name, perhaps reflecting his notion of isolation once again. We delve into his life, one we might not be familiar to at all. He is assigned and controlled by “The Company” to write fiction in relation to an Emotional Motor Unit (or E.M.U), which is a programmed person, a machine, a robot of a type (played by Francesca Burgoyne). The author has to spend two weeks with E.M.U, in which his life changes, realising human interaction since his long time alone.

EMU 2

We aren’t actually told a lot about the characters, however I think this makes a statement to the film. Unlike to others, in which a flashback of aspects of their lives are shown, or perhaps a long introduction, the characters are kept more secret in ‘Emotional Motor Unit’. We are told about the writer and some of his life, but the fact that his name is hidden away from us gives an essence of privacy. There are two characters which in particular I find quite mysterious, the programmer (Candice Palladino) and the agent (Finnian Nainby-Luxmore). Significantly the programmer, she is one who seems to have a lot of depth in her character and the mysteriousness around her character, her silence, just her being there, but her control, being able to control the E.M.U, brings so much depth to the character and a want for the audience to know more. Once again bringing them in.

I found the film very heart-hitting. The audience definitely experience this man’s life, excellently played I have to admit. After the two weeks is up and E.M.U is taken away, we witness this man’s life after she has gone. His life in isolation having had a glimpse of human connection. The audience, well I most definitely did, felt everything he was feeling, all of his pain, yet he continues on to write this fiction story, doing as he is told by the agent.

EMU 1

‘Emotional Motor Unit’ does have a dystopian feel to it, also a sci-fi film, something very different to our world we know. Although perhaps a possible future with technology. Even though, many cannot recognise themselves with the world, it is very much a film to recognise with the emotions of the film, the loneliness.

The Deja Vuers (2016)

Everybody must have experienced déjà vu at some point in their lives. I know I have and it’s a weird sensation. This short film delves into a déjà vu experience of a man named Chuck (Kris Salvi) and throws the audience into this weird sensation we know so well. However, the odd essence in this film is that perhaps Chuck’s déjà vu is one connected to others, strangely grabbing in the audience wanting to know what is going to happen as things are so unpredictable.

This unpredictable short film only lasts around eight minutes, however so much is packed into that short time. The film starts as very inviting for the audience. I really love the beginning of the vast landscape of colourful trees, then focussing on a park bench in which the plot begins. The beginning tells the audience that this film is going to be light-hearted comical, just a short film to enjoy.

Chuck approaches a woman on a bench having recognised her from a dream. But there’s one thing that differs from all, when she says her name is Morgan (Christie Devine), Chuck is thrown as she was called Lulu in his dream. This is where their paths change in ways they wouldn’t have before if Chuck had just walked by. New windows open, or perhaps portals, that transfer the two lives on different courses following their déjà vu feelings. Ever wondered where déjà vu might take you? Watch this film to find out the possibilities. As random as they are.

‘Deja Vuers’ is a brilliantly random film that incorporates déjà vu in a comical and bizarre way to enjoy. It even ends in a small sneaky sketch after the credits, which is a form in movies so many love. Just an added section to add to the humour once again. The music is clever in certain sections, but no music during when Chuck is speaking expressing his déjà vu experience. Again repeating this weird sensation for the audience to feel as well.

This short film is brilliant in creating an oddly satisfying déjà vu moment which links into so many other moments the audience would never guess are coming.

The Trouble With Uncle Max (2016)

There’s a plan and a route Sonya (Arianna Danae) and Joe (Nathaniel Sylva) want to take. However, their plan to kill Sonya’s Uncle Max (Bill Taylor) isn’t as easy as she thought.

I feel this film is one that isn’t meant to be an easy watch, relating round the obvious crime of the plot, the film is quite dark, especially the lighting as the film proceeds. It also turns tense quite quickly. Additionally, I feel the audience isn’t supposed to like many of the characters by the end, as we are exposed to many more things. I wouldn’t say these things are a bad thing, quite the opposite; giving a unique edge to the film and one that should be appreciated as an opposite to all those Blockbuster, Hollywood films we’re so used to now-a-days. So if you’re looking for a different sort of film, but one that is still as intriguing as all the others, I would recommend this one.

This film only lasts just over twenty minutes (as it is a short film), but cleverly tells so much. Within small parts of the film, it is leading towards the end, an end which leaves Joe in a situation he didn’t want to be in. But I have to mention the last couple of seconds, before the credits, just showing how much attention needs to be paid to this film. It really is clever. From the beginning of the film the audience are brought in, unsure to what is happening. We are told so many things from little aspects but they don’t seem to add up completely until things are verified more clearly. There are small indications, for example a name tag telling us who the main protagonist is, so when she is called we understand her situation more; a picture in Joe’s car, telling the audience he must love his girlfriend very much. Little things like this all add to the bigger picture of the plot and it is very clever. These continuous close ups are very good in drawing the audience’s attention to certain things.

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Furthermore, the actors are very good, especially Bill Taylor playing Uncle Max, as he quickly shows how obsessed he is with his “Screwdriver” alcoholic drink and that he must be quite abusive towards Sonya. Arianna Danae also plays Sonya well; you understand the pain she’s going through pretty quickly. But then it suddenly escalates and maybe there’s more to her. The director, Rufus Chaffee has been very clever in how things are already escalated to murder, as it gives the audience a sense of past and future, a sense that there has been so much before this film that we don’t know about, but must be pretty awful if it’s already risen to these thoughts already.

So if you’re looking for a tense 20 minute short film, I would recommend this one. It is unique in style and one that draws the audience in. Besides don’t you want to know why Sonya found it so difficult, or what in fact happens in those last few minutes?

 

 

If you think this is a film you would enjoy, ‘The Trouble With Uncle Max’ is available to be streamed or downloaded at www.vimeo.com/ondemand/unclemax.

The Convict (2014)

Sweven Films presents this thriller drama short film, based upon the limits of a desperate man and his determination of getting to his destination. Written and directed by Mark Battle, you can tell this is a stylistic and unique film that should be appreciated.

This short film lasts just over twenty minutes, but it manages to captivate the audience and make them intrigued in the main protagonist’s life. This is David Eller (Dean Temple), a convict who we know has recently just escaped from jail. We know this straight from the beginning as he is wearing the typical red jumpsuit and has one handcuff attached to his wrist. His desperate need to hide himself and his wound tells the audience that he must have escaped recently and that it wasn’t easy. As the story goes on more pieces are joined up, however not everything as the audience is kept wondering. There is the clever use of the radio, this shows a little more of who this man is, that he’s wanted, that he’s dangerous. Again, more pieces joining up.

the-convict

‘The Convict’ is quite a stylistic film. There is almost a black and white tint to the film, giving an edge, everything just seems darker and gives the sense of a thrill in the film. There is also no music to the film, until the very end. This is something very different to all the other films that we are more familiar with. However this works really well, it makes the film eerily quiet, the silence eats away at the audience, only diegetic sounds can be heard. Tearing into the possibility of more a realistic film, etching into that desperate need of this man. I also really liked how more of the pieces were joined up for the audience through the use of a flashback; this worked really well and told the audience his one desperate need, perhaps the reason for breaking out of jail, but I won’t say, you’ll have to watch it to find out.

Overall I would recommend watching this short film on ‘The Convict’. You witness David on his desperate journey meanwhile figuring more about him, however some questions are never answered making the audience question if they matter. This film is stylistic and clever in creating a tension in a thriller. Besides aren’t you a little intrigued in where this journey is taking David?

Bench: A Short Film (2016)

‘Bench’ is a short film created and starred by Christopher Laws and Jack Mckenna. This short film only lasts four and a half minutes. But it’s surprising how much you can get within that short amount of time and ‘Bench’ definitely does it well.

The camera is quite personal and makes the audience feel more connected to the two characters, Chris and Jack. It tells you the aspects you need to focus on, whether it be the fact that he’s alone on that bench, or focusing on the face and the emotions he’s expressing. The lighting is quite bright; I feel this contradicts what is being said, but this is a good thing. I feel it’s representing something, either hope in sadness, or maybe where Jack is going; but then again that could be me reading into it too much, I’m unsure.

Because the film is so short, things have to get running pretty quickly. And right from the beginning the audience is told a number of things. Number 1) the film isn’t going to be some happy story, one to get you laughing, rather the opposite. The music echoes sadness, we know this from previous films we’ve watched where music is associated with certain emotions. 2) It’s going to be emotional and powerful. A man crying on a bench, alone. 3) A life is going to unravel in a short conversation.

This film is very clever in throwing emotions at the audience, it captivates them to find out what happened to Jack and makes them intrigued. Even though nothing much is said, we are told so much. Somehow emotion hits the audience, even if they are not sure what has happened, or will ever know.

I would recommend watching this, it’s beautifully emotional and full of power. Who knew a single bench would become a story expressing the emotions of one guy, feeling all alone.