Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Aftermath






Today's short film is called AFTERMATH.

Written, directed, and produced by Jeremy Robbins, you'd think, with as many of these genre short films that I watch, that I'd eventually begin to recognize more of these guys and their work, but... nope. Not this time, at least, so I can't really comment on him or his work, except to say that he seems ambitious, driven, and mutli-talented. That's without having seen the film, of course. Who knows, he may turn out to be overly-ambitious, unrealistic, and lacking a realistic view of his abilities.

We shall see...

The point is, this film is Post-Apocalyptic, so I'm in.

Here's the synopsis: In a new, predatory ice age, two brothers search for a place to call home. And if I know anything, it's this... That is a really shitty and vague synopsis, which might be a bad sign. In fact, it probably is a bad sign. I mean, what the fuck is a predatory ice age? Are they being hunted by icebergs? I could see that, actually. They're pretty sneaky, you know that, right? Icebergs hide most of themselves beneath the water line, so you never know how large they really are... until it's too late.

Anyway, let's watch...



Well, now... I liked this one.

Turns out Jeremy was ambitious, driven, and multi-talented after all. That's a nice surprise. Not to imply that this was a happy film, of course. It was actually pretty bleak. It definitely pulled more for the THE ROAD school, then say... the MAD MAX school, but that's fine sometimes. Even if the film was grim, it wasn't overly-serious, or overly inflated by an undeserved sense of self-importance, which is nice. Sometimes that line blurs, y'know? What I'm saying is, yes, this was definitely not a happy film, but it was still a good one.

For once, a really shitty synopsis didn't end up heralding a really shitty film.

This was cheap and easy and not too flashy, but it looked good. It used smart characters and great world beats, not to mention some pretty well-chosen sets, and the weather, in order to tell its story. I really liked how the characters' lives were nothing but a restless and near-constant motion, there was a real feeling of the almost shark-like focus on keeping moving as it was the only real safety. I liked how they showed that through their wariness and how a bed was so appealing. I liked that simplicity. It was all about simple survival. I liked that focus. It kept the film tight. Nothing sends these short films off the rails faster than when they cast too wide of a narrative net.

I was also really impressed with the way they sold the world. Small, but perfect and hard-hitting little details that worked so well. The body left in its underwear... the sudden and random violence... the willingness to shoot... the overwhelming desire to just sleep in a bed... These moments not only lent themselves to the whole "cycle of violence" theme, but they really crystallized the story.

That was good stuff.

AFTERMATH is a good example of what a successful short film should be. It tells a whole story. It has real characters and a real world. It maintains awareness of the production's and the genre's limitations, but it doesn't feel constrained by them. It's a story you would be interested in seeing more of, but they don't leave you dangling. All in all, this was very well done.

Simple, tough, and good. I liked it.

Jon

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