Short Film Review #36

Tortoise, written and directed by Andy Bloom, details the relationship between two teenage brothers who live a sheltered life deep in rural isolation. Things are made worse by the presence of their violent and unpredictable father, a brilliantly unlikeable Matthew Kelly, who dominates their every waking moment and so older brother Charlie, a steely-jawed Tom Hughes, has determined to escape the situation. Problem is the more fragile Billy, a cowed Rob Ostlere, isn’t completely sure and so they’ve waited for over a year until finally provoked once too many. Grim but reflective, a powerful reminder of how they fuck you up, your mum and dad. Sometimes. 

Small Things 
Another trip into Icelandic Cinema Online threw up this little gem, Small Things or Litlir Hlutir by Davíð Óskar Ólafsson. A Lantana-like confection, combining together disparate stories and characters into one interconnected world where one small thing for one person sets in chain huge events for others. Gripping stuff which you can watch for a euro here. 
The Third One This Week
I really enjoyed this Felix Thompson film – a little sliver of the happenstance nature of humanity that is well worth 3 minutes of your time.
 The Other Man
A rather muted film from D R Hood, The Other Man follows the deterioration of a couple’s relationship when a brutal secret is revealed. It looks beautiful in its rural landscape and Anna Maxwell Martin and Neal Barry excavate a deep emotionality in their performances but it never really stirs the soul like it could.
It’s always nice to see something a bit different and whilst Karel van Bellingen’s Goliath isn’t hugely experimental, by shooting in black and white and with no audible dialogue he creates an absorbing shift of mood to his short film. A take on the biblical story of David and Goliath transplanted to a modern council estate, it really does gain something in significance through this treatment. 


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