MOVIE REVIEW: SUICIDE NOTE (UK, Fantasy/Thriller)

REAL ARTISTS played to rave reviews at the July 2017 FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival.

by Kierston Drier

Highly interpretive and deeply symbolic, this five minute fantasy-thriller from the United Kingdom is an exploration of life, death and it’s faceted transition. SUICIDE NOTE is deep meditation of one person’s journey from life to whatever is beyond it. Set against a haunting ethereal soundtrack and a featuring dramatic and dynamic framing, this piece is filmed in black and white. It has an almost unknowable quality to its tone and atmosphere- as though the viewer, is intentionally meant to never see the full scape of the hero’s world. Perhaps this is because it is the symbolic portrayal of the ultimate journey out of life.

A large portion of the piece is focused on the frame of a delicate doll, seemingly floating or suspended, set against the eye of the main hero. It is possible this doll represents the hero’s human body, while their eye represents their sense of self, both metaphorically and literally. Highly open to interpretation, this is a film that must be watched with an open mind. It may not be conventional cinema, but it is breathtakingly detailed, gorgeously shot and has an hauntingly beautiful tone. A delight for the senses.

 

SUICIDE NOTE, 5min, UK, Fantasy/Thriller
Directed by Marina Waltz

A surrealist meditation on the many self-inflicted deaths of identity we must courageously endure in order to attain a more complete understanding of who we are.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

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MOVIE REVIEW: A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES (UK, Fantasy/Drama)

ECSTASY BOULEVARD played to rave reviews at the July 2017 FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival.

“Winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the Festival.”

by Kierston Drier

Some films make you laugh with joy, or awkward discomfort. Some break your heart. A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES will do both. This fifteen minute film hailing from the United Kingdom follows a young impoverished boy being raised by circumstance more than by his otherwise neglectful mother- who spends more of her time entertaining Johns than she does caring for her young son and infant daughter. In the wake of any real stimulation, our young hero heads out into the woods to make his own adventures, and discovers a monster there, who he names Charles.

Stunningly shot with a keen attention to detail, incredibly well edited, and seamlessly constructed, this piece also has an exceptional performance from the young male lead. His choices may seem confusing to the viewer at first glance, but his rationality, given his life circumstances, becomes all too clear soon enough. A tale that literally answers the question of what is worse- the monsters you know, or the monsters you don’t.

For a movie told through the eyes of child, and (potentially) their vivid imagination, A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES has a surprisingly intricate level of emotional complexity. Our characters, from smallest to largest, are deeper than mere black-and-white stereotypes. A piece worthy of detailed discussion, this film can be enjoyed at face value as well. It pays homage to childhood classics such as Where The Wild Things Are and even Peter Pan and the viewer can end the piece knowing the a happy ending has been found. A deeper message within the story might be showcasing what the effect of poverty and neglect can have on children.

Whichever way you choose to interpret this film, it is a powerful piece to watch. It would be a tragedy to miss A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES.

 

A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES, 15min, UK, Fantasy/Drama
Directed by Richard Paris WilsonThe story of a Boy who lives in a caravan park with his Mother, and a Monster who lives in a nearby woods…

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Movie Review: DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN (UK, Experimental)

Played at the July 2017 Experimental Short Film Festival

DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN, 4min, UK, Experimental
Directed by Michelle Bailey

A young girl girl searches for a safe haven in an urban landscape and finds solace in her own creative expression.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Terrifyingly authentic and yet beautifully abstract, DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN follows a young woman fleeing the endless cycle of her abusive partnership. She flees down a street while a cycle of his verbal abuse replays over and over in her head.

Once she reaches a rooftop overlooking a deadly drop to the street below, she defies the expectation by bursting into a passionate and emotionally charged dance piece.

Sharp, dramatic, cathartic and intense, DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN is a piece about finding your own freedom. Our heroine is an exceptional dancer and cinematic performer, and our story, though simply, is nevertheless incredibly emotive and effective.

A piece worth watching if you are a fan of dance cinema, an appreciator of strong dramatic pieces or a lover a fine cinema, you will find something to enjoy in this work. It’s movement will surely move you.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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Movie Review: STRANGE BEASTS (UK, Experimental)

Played at the July 2017 Experimental Short Film Festival

STRANGE BEASTS, 5min, UK, Experimental
Directed by Magali Barbe

‘Strange Beasts’ is an augmented reality game. It allows you to create and grow your own ‘pet’. How far can it go?

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

A bright, authentic and chillingly vibrant piece of speculative fiction, STRANGE BEASTS follows a software and game developer on his new groundbreaking game. One where you create and care for a digital pet. The catch? The game exists in a device embedded in your eye.

Our hero is loveable, bright, energetic and trusting. The game looks authentic, dazzling and instantly addictive. As a film the colors, graphics and visuals are flawless. The film is a master of attention to detail.

But what sets this film apart is its believability, and its gut wrenching twist. Without spoiling this remarkable ending- this film hits frighteningly close to home.

With this only a five-minutes-in-the-future kind of science fiction, the audience is hit with the sudden realization that this type of technology already exists, and the we are not watching a film about what could be, but what will be.

STRANGE BEASTS will haunt you, with its disarmingly charming approach to the future, and send a chill up your spine when it ends.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video

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Under 5min. Film: THE FINAL FAIRYTALE, 1min, UK, Family

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

THE FINAL FAIRYTALE, 1min, UK, Family
Directed by Ken WilliamsA woman looks back at a fading memory of her father and of fairytales .

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

A four minute American film about the pain of growing up. A father reads his bedtime story to his daughter, when his daughter tells him that she thinks she might be too old for bedtime stories.

It is an utterly simple film. But emotionally, it is fathoms deep. Most impressively, the acting of the cast. The character of the father is only given one small moment to react to his daughter’s request- and so many emotions are transmitted. The efficiency of this emotional punch is breathtaking. A moment of independence for a child, and a moment of heartbreak for her father.

Remarkably effective and incredibly poignant, THE FINAL FAIRYTALE is touching and worthwhile piece indeed.

Under 5min: VOICING SILENCE, 3min, UK, Animation

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

VOICING SILENCE, 3min, UK, Animation
Directed by Lucy LeeHow do you move forward when events from a distant past continue to cast their grim shadow on the present? Can breaking the silence ever bring a much longed for quietude? Voicing Silence is one woman’s attempt to find her words that have remained muted for so long.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

A three minute piece coming out of the UK, VOICING SILENCE is an mixed media journey of an adult womans’ recount of her victimization when she was a child. Speaking out in order to heal and give strength to others, her piece is a strong and emotionally impactful one. It’s message is deep and powerful.

What makes this short unique is it’s use of animation. As our heroine recounts her events, she relives the memories in the form of an animated scene. To soften the accounts of abuse by looking through the lenses of animation helps ease both the viewer, and the reteller. It is, as the proverb goes, dipping the tip of the sphere of truth in honey. An excellent cinematic choice and giving the film a unique look, VOICING SILENCE is both powerful and beautiful to watch.

Under 5min. Film: DAN, 1min, UK, Comedy

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

DAN, 1min, UK, Comedy
Directed by Uzo OlehDan and Steve are identical twins that live together. Steve is fed up with being guilted into covering for Dan’s frequent “sick” days from work. So Steve decides to get himself (as Dan) fired.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

Stunningly short and still marvelously funny, this one minute UK comedy is laugh-a-minute brilliance. An twin begs his identical brother to take his place at his office job so he can have a day off. But his fed-up twin decides to wreak havoc instead. Bright, tight and witty, this piece is seamlessly efficient, colorful, fun and even sports a great twist. It has breathless pacing and delivers its comedy at lighting face speed.

Perhaps what sets this piece apart is that is is exactly the length it needs to be. True craftsmanship and professionalism can be found in a piece that knows when to stop- because it leaves you wanting more. And you will want more when you watch DAN?