The Fan Carpet’s Tremayne Miller shares her Reviews for Shorts Block 2 at the 2019 Edition of the London Independent Film Festival
The London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) is the premier event for first and second-time film-makers, micro-budget and no-budget films in the UK. LIFF offers a fantastic opportunity for indie filmmakers to showcase their achievements, with spaces reserved for first and second time filmmakers and for films that have been overlooked by other events.
LIFF presents the best of low-budget filmmaking from around the world, and mixes it up with relevant industry discussions and targeted social networking events. LIFF’s audience is London’s sizeable independent filmmaking community. It’s an indie film festival for indie filmmakers.
Here, The Fan Carpet's Tremayne Miller shares her Reviews for Shorts Block 2 that showcased the films The Beach House by Richard Naylor, A Boy A Man and A Kite by Adam Matalon, The Box by Christopher L. Cook and The Therapist by Ron Eyal....
The Beach House
'secrets can easily escape people’s lips..'
I think the backdrop to the film a beach house is important, because not only does it represent a kind of container for the action to play out in but I think it also adds emphasis to the running themes, along with its mood, style and overall emotion.
When a set has been successfully chosen it will communicate across to the voyeur, the dramatic action, which here relates to two couples who've gone away together, and while the men consider marital proposals, the women have other ideas. They concoct a plan whereby they can leave their boyfriends behind, and start afresh elsewhere.
The tension caught within their parallel stories is more awkward comedy than a lingering angst.
Sometimes when a film's backdrop shifts very little, if at all to another spot, it is at automatic risk of flailing, thus, falling flat on its face. However, with a tight script and good comic timing by its actors The Beach House ensures that is not the case.
About Richard Naylor, the director
Richard Naylor is an award winning director. He graduated from the Met Film School, where hid graduation film 'Music Land World' was commissioned by Channel 4, whose request was for him to write a treatment, and then a pilot script. He now finds himself in the midst of working on a number of projects, all original scripts.
'The Beach House' received Best UK Short at The London Independent Film Festival.
A Boy, A Man and A Kite
Nominated for the following two official film festival selections: Redline International Film Festival, and nominated by the Toronto festival for "Best Production Design,” and the outstanding work of John Bush, as well as the entire Art Department team.
Directed by Adam Matalon. With Dan Fredenburgh, Tommy Eplett, Jerome Wright, Melissa Bayern.
A mercilessly beautiful Short about one child’s experience of abuse.
“A Boy, A Man and A Kite is a Short based on a true event which occurred in Stephen Endelman's life. It connects 'unresolved childhood trauma' with life of an adult.
Endleman, a Grammy-nominated composer highlights how fundamental the role of music has been to help him go on with his life, saying in an interview that “Living in denial for a lifetime will never be the solution. You need to speak out your truth in order to overcome your traumas. This movie shows that self healing is the only redemption”.
.Daniel, (who's Stephen in fictional form), is a man in limbo, fighting brain cancer, whilst in a coma. Betwixt life and death, the traumas he experienced as a child come flooding back to him. The period, more specifically, when his teacher sexually molested him.
It's a sore topic to tackle, however, Matalon choosing to use the adult voice of Daniel as a narrator proves most effective. Why? Because it guides the viewer a lot more easily through the ethereal world of reveries and distorted imagery, whereupon a connection is made.
The series of frames are designed so that we may witness everything as though we were inside the body of a younger Daniel (Tommy Eplett).
Eplett was pretty outstanding, and I suspect it won't be long till he is picked up for other projects. Somehow he manages to consciously manipulate the film in an uncomfortable direction.
What becomes fascinating in the film is the idea of two worlds running parallel to the other, abstract and reality. Or is it?! This is made possible with the exquisite music composition by
Stephen Endelman, high quality acting and Matalon’s shots, which carry a vast range of emotions.
Matalon says “Newtonian laws don’t apply in this film. There are no laws of gravity, space and time. I wanted to deconstruct the reality and create an intermittence between abstract and reality," proving his aptitude as a director, enhancing the central themes in metaphorical ways.
Trevor Bolton (Jerome Wright), played the assaulter, the teacher different from how we might imagine, and apparently during the process of developing his character he said,
“I had to separate the role from the message of the movie. He was a man admired and loved as a teacher with a toxic predilection for children. I tried to keep it simple. I tried to play an human, not a monster”. I would say, that he definitely hit his objective.
Wave Trust was the charity behind the film's production. Their own objective is 'to prevent and heal adverse childhood experiences.'
A piece of Art, no matter the medium, can be 'that' powerful sometimes, that it can influence an individual or a whole set of people, at which point they may feel they, now fully equipped, have all the tools they need to turn their life around. Could Short 'A Boy, A Man and A Kite' be such a piece of Art?!
'The Box' took a number of years to complete, then when it was finally launched in the UK at the Out of the Can Film Festival it won the Award for Best Drama.
It follows a woman who's annoyed with her husband but bottles a lot of it up. We are not sure as to the extent, or the reasons why. The fact she employs two men who send shivers up your spine, tell me that he's done something not easily forgivable. The men deliver a puzzling package, inside which clear instructions are placed.
She proceeds to follow each instruction given but she is then struck by nightmare after nightmare, as she contemplates having taking things too far.
Following reports of her husband's disappearance a bizarre package arrives at the house. It's clear that if there’s a chance of her moving on with her life, that it’s now but she must first lay the past to rest.
The film is beautifully shot, as it outlines every emotion felt by Reid. We, as an example, pick up on a notable 'fighting spirit' emerging, who's reached a point where she believes that enough learnt that enough is enough!
A definite continuation of the story could be made.
Philip Curran provides a stunning original score, whilst establishing a character in its own right. And Steven Cook, brother to Christopher, supplies the stunning Cinematography.
How the original concept for the film came about according to its writer, Reid "I had been writing feature films and getting really good feedback within the industry, but these projects require huge budgets, so I was encouraged to write a short film. I like to take long walks in the countryside and be near the river and it is on these walks that often the ideas start to dance, the trick is to catch them, then to get them down onto paper. I am very visual when writing so I can already see it up on the big screen. I find it thrilling getting to know my characters and finding out what makes them act the way they do. It’s all a game. A magical one at that.
Scotland proved a challenge to film in during the wintertime but with an apparent obliging crew and cast, there was a willingness, chiefly towards the material, and how it was handled. Sure enough a collaborative ensemble was formed, where each idea, or piece of input could be quashed together with ease, then a smidgen of magic dust was sprinkled over it inside the editing suite. The glorious snow to feature was looked on as a gift from the gods, along with the moon set against a blue backdrop sky."
Produced by Black Dog Films and directed by Ron Eyal.
Winner of best UK Short at the London Independent Film Festival.
Eyal,’s backlogue of work includes: Stranger Things, and Telling Lies. The film stars Adeel Akhtar (Four Lions) and Marion Bailey (Mr Turner).
Grief is a recurring theme in cinema, yet one of the most complex human experiences for film to capture. Why? Because it isn't solely about reflecting on it but also looking at the experiences that a person will go through. It can prove to have quite the cathartic effect, when it is observed on film, perhaps managing to switch on a new light that has not necessarily been thought about before..
‘The Therapist’ tells the story of an unbalanced therapist plagued by his own issues, at the same time he tries to grapple with those of a demanding patient.
The strong personality of the therapist’s mother, even in death shines through, and we, the voyeur, observe her presence too.
It's evident that the therapist still remains in the preliminary stages of grief, preferring instead to withhold those psychiatric-psychological debates he would have with his mother, even if they are imagined voices he has formulated inside his head.
Somehow he needs to convince himself that he must continue to work, when in actual fact he's probably in dire need of what the Americans refer to as 'a sabbatical;' chiefly some time away from this warped, analytical environment he frequents.
About Black Dog Films
The Ridley Scott Creative Group, of which Black Dog Films forms a part of, specializes in developing fresh, young creative talent, at the same time it maintains a reputation for bold, innovative filmmaking from some of the most visionary directors of all time.
‘The Therapist’ awaits a release online but should receive it any day now. It certainly deserves it for its originality!