In Aerosol, writer/ director Wojciech Wawrzyniak takes us into a dystopian world of boredom and fear, and out the other side, all thanks to an ant. A nameless worker in a grimy factory setting has his mind-numbing routine interrupted by a wayward ant, the search for which brings about the demise of the machines that define his existence. The Eastern European feel to the visuals heavily namechecks a Communist aesthetic: this is a tale about the importance of personal freedom and seeing things from a different point of view. To whit, sometimes your comrade turns out to be an ant. It’s no surprise Wawrzyniak describes his ‘double life’ on production company Ozzywood’s website: by day an industrial designer and by night a film-maker – Wawrzyniak is no stranger to routine and (one assumes) occasional boredom and frustration with the worker-day world. The real appeal of this film is the afore-mentioned production design; a well-realised world reminiscent of the work of French film-makers Jeunet and Caro. With all elements of the Young Film-Makers Funded production coming together well – a particular nod of the head goes to sound design – Aerosol is a short film not to be missed, and one would be wise to keep an eye on the further exploits of young gun Wawrzyniak.
Fuzzy’s Day Out
Some more fun from the X-Ray studio crew with writer/ director Mike Foxall and his spoof on the thriller genre, Fuzzy’s Day Out. Simply, a man is stalked by a crazed killer teddy bear. The director has chosen to use special effects in terms of a saturated colour wash over the visuals, no live sound only soundtrack and a slight delay in the visuals (it’s not slo-mo, but it’s not in real time) to disguise what would otherwise have come across as badly amateur. These are good decisions, because the editing and pace of the film are excellent. The punchy sound design works well to create drama and suspense, and the cinematography tells the story well. For a two-person team – Mike, and Nicole Foxall on camera – this is a great effort and highlights the importance of playing to your strengths when working in DIY.
Flawlessly filmed, The Apartment takes us into the crisp, gleaming world of unrequited love as a maid fantasises about her boss’ life and her ached for role within it. With a clean, commercial appeal to the cinematography, the perfect world Roslyn (as played by the luminous Wicka Simet) creates for Robert (Robert de Fries) is immaculately realised – the striking signature colour of red splashed about with a smooth, controlled eye. The strength of this film is predominately the visual aspect – there’s nothing particularly new to the power dynamics played out, nor does director Chris Bamford subvert any of the expectations he creates and revels in, which is a shame as a twist to this story would have really taken it to the next level. That said, lovers of beautiful, evocative cinema will take to this film like a duck to water.
The Big Day
Christine Olsen’s The Big Day proves that a good documentary can be as simple as finding the right subjects, at the right time. Clarry and his wife Enid are renewing their vows after 60 years of marriage. Well at the end of their days, the two have trouble memorizing said vows while making what one assumes are the same foods they’ve been making together for years: stuffed eggs and asparagus rolls. The Big Day has instant appeal, despite the minor shortcomings in occasionally shaky filming. Why? Because everyone wants to still be in love after 60 years of marriage, and everyone can relate to their parents or grandparents bickering and bantering as part of the domestic routines by which we define our lives. Universal themes are such a strong backbone to any story and The Big Day is a touching tale of the reality of marriage and mortality. “I’m not frightened of death,” Enid says as an explanation of the wording of the vows, “but it sounds nicer to keep it as ‘for the rest of my life’.” Touching stuff indeed.
Catch all these short films on Motion, the film show on Rouser