Saturday, February 25, 2012

Film Reviews: Crestfallen, Contact and Drool.

Short films, like short stories, are infinitely more difficult to create than full length features. When done well,  they result in stories that have had every inch of fat and extraneous detail removed, culminating in films that not only make a firm impact on me, but tend to stand the test of time. Drool, Contact and Crestfallen are three short films directed by Jeremiah Kipp. Because of their lengths, and subject matter, I've decided to review each of them in short reviews only. All three films are visually sensational and rich in symbolism and metaphor, and as such, I don't want to spend too much time on my interpretation, because I'd hate for it to cloud your judgement when/if you decide to view them for yourself. So without further ado....

Drool is a four minute highly experimental film. If you decide to view it, please don't make the same mistake as I and attempt to eat your lunch while you watch it! Featuring two actors, the combination of experimental film techniques with the movements of the actors reminded me greatly of a contemporary dance piece. It's a little gross (take the title literally) but beautifully shot, edited and put together.

Contact depicts the highs and lows of drug experimentation. At eleven minutes this film managed to fit in far more substance than I think some "blockbuster" full-length films have managed. The female lead embarks upon a drug adventure with her boyfriend, and what starts off well soon descends into a violent and turbulent hallucinogenic nightmare. The acting is high quality, and the editing and sound phenomenal, but what makes this film stand out is the unbelievable makeup and special effects. Without destroying the effect for anyone, the mouth tunnel and subsequent tear, (see inserted screenshot) were realistic and horrific and had my heart pounding. An outstanding short film.

At six minutes Crestfallen is perhaps my favourite of the three. The cinematography is beautiful, heart-melting eye-achingly so, and the subject matter, acting and composition complement the visuals perfectly. Taking on the tough subject of suicide, the film focuses on the event itself, while showcasing the protagonist's (played by Deneen Melody) life up to that point, and the cause of her suicide attempt. The film takes on a very voyeuristic appearance, as though we're witnessing her life flash before her eyes in the moments before death. The music swells with the growing emotion of the film, and there is a very religious feel to it. Not in a Christian way, but the lighting of the woman in the bath as she takes her life, reminds me of the lighting used in the renaissance paintings that bathed religious figures in light from the heavens. A stunning film, one that will haunt me for some time.


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