Farewell to the Ark

The short film – Farewell to the Ark represents a complicated story about family relations, Japanese manga culture, music and basic interactions between real life and virtual friends. One and only thing that will be clear to the most of the public is the obsession of Japanese people with the world of Manga.

Some people seek refuge in the virtual reality, in social networks, comic books, fictional characters and video games. They refuse to have any contact with the outside world and can see people only through pixels, through screens. Closed in their shells, they slowly start destroying their lives for the sake of imaginary one. Many of us could find some of their friends in this story, maybe even themselves.

Two virtual friends Shizuko and Jie are two withdrawn and reclusive young people that stay almost whole day at their homes playing video games or doing nothing. They form a strange “online bond” so strong that Shizuko made Jie to steal one of the really expensive Manga figures. This act made a reaction that actually at the same time brought them closer than ever and separated them forever.

Each actor played their part very well and, in a way, helped us understand better the mysterious, strange and philosophical fabula of the film. The drama was intense in the beginning but later it softened and started looking more like teenage hysteria. As the film is getting closer to an “end” we start to understand the actual sophomoric nature of the characters. At some points, there is an impression that the story is spinning in circles, or maybe even better description would be that there are multiple circles in the story and it is jumping from one to another all the time.

The style and design of the films background leaves a wonderful impression to the watcher. At the same time, there are and there are no colors, everything looks old and gray but still in some ways modern.

As many of the Japanese films, this one is also very complex. The philosophy in Japanese films is extremely deep and there are not many people who completely understand it.

To get the real and meaningful answers on the questions that public created, we would have to make the director of this short film to answer them himself. The Japanese culture is a huge enigma to the rest of the world, and that is actually a thing that makes this film wonderful.

Many will be disappointed with the ending of the film and will be left in wonder. Is this film really finished? That is the question that every watcher will demand answer to? Actually, there isn’t an ending. It was probably a director’s way to leave us even more in wonder.
Loss of willpower, sadness, depression and numbness are present throughout the whole film. Wonderful idea and the realization were unique. We may be disappointed by some matters, but one thing is for sure, many watchers will be having a debate among themselves after the film finished.

Death Lay Here

Short low budget horror-mystery film about a man who cheated death. Poetic beginning, with the focus on the old stone statues gave it a Victorian tone. If it was kept in that direction, the film would be much more sinister, which was one of the aims of the director (Double R3).

A young man, Charlie (Christian Bourgeois) is sitting in a bar and “celebrating” the beginning of a new life. He gets into encounter with Steven, a mysterious man (Nick Vincent Barbera) that will change his life forever. What does the box that Steven left and Charly later picked up represents? Is it the Pandora’s box? Is there hope at the bottom of it or it is just nothing? Or perhaps, is it something even more evil? Is it the box of Dybbuk – a wine box haunted by the malicious spirit that is haunting and possessing the living. By the look of the box itself, it does look like a wine box, therefore it is not the Pandora’s box that haunts the main character.

What does death represent? Each person will provide a different answer. Is it closely in connection with time? The answer is probably yes. Time could be considered as one of the deaths “variables”. A variable of a sinister system that will sooner or later consume everything and everyone. How do we cheat death? If we could meddle with time, maybe we could provide an answer to this not at all easy question. I guess that only Charlie Berry knows the answer.

If you got a second chance for life, would you take it? This film is carrying a deep philosophical meaning and it is directing the public to think about the thing that everybody is actually trying not to think about. Next thing that comes together with thoughts about death is the existential crisis. The state of mind that is torturing us with searching for our meaning I.e. the question: “What is the purpose of life when one day we shall die anyway”?
Death is just the part of our life. Our deeds, our success and our failures are nothing more than the rebellion against death.

This post-film text made the film better and left the public shocked and in wonder. Is the story based on the real events? That question is for everyone to figure on their own.
Based on the FBI Missing Persons Report, a young man named Charlie Berry was killed in a terrible plane crash over the Atlantic in June 2006. In a plane crash he and more than one-hundred and fifty passengers died. A decade later, in October of 2016, sightings of Charlie Berry have been reported. FBI found his location and brought him in from questioning. Later that day he mysteriously disappeared before any of the FBI agents could get to him. Like in the film, he was constantly making calls regarding his sister Luann Berry.

Good, unforgettable and entertaining short film that will haunt you even in your dreams.

Practices from Beyond

The short film – Practices from beyond represents a mixture of a silent film, animation and live action film. Completely comic from the very beginning, with an original “abomination” idea. This experimental film represents how the afterlife would look like if it was controlled by bureaucracy. The choice to make the video black and white was a great decision because it gave the more sinister look to hell but still it preserved the comical tone.

Madness (Francesco Santoro), a sinful man and a killer comes in front of the infernal chairman (Raffaele Santoro), the head of the corporation “Beyond”. Infernal chairman knowing that the amount of souls gained by his corporation is decreasing considering other companies he decides to use Madness to commit more bad deeds by sending him to trick an old dying lady into committing her soul to his company. That is the time where God is getting involved.

Overall, this film represents an upside-down image of the world we live in. Big corporations are influencing our lives whether we like it or not. We are not even conscious about it, as they are silently consuming our possessions and attacking our mind by commercials that will soon start jumping out even from a garbage can. Some of the short films posses an endless possibilities of comprehension. This one could possibly have more than three ways of understanding it, but that is for the public to figure out. First way of understanding it is direct, as a short film purely created for fun and entertainment of the watcher. Second one could be the already mentioned one, as a mirror picture of the world of capitalism we live in. An absurd and soulless machine without simplest emotions that yet cannot survive without souls. Sad but true. Third way of understanding this short film would be philosophical and religious. After we die we all go in front of the imagined “judge” that will decide, based on our actions while we were alive, whether we go to hell or heaven. Maybe indeed some of us would get a “second chance” just like Madness and get a task to fulfill in order to redeem for his sins and “earn salvation”. If that indeed happens, what if we are indeed tricked into doing someone’s dirty deed, just like poor Madness, the professional food poisoner. Possibilities of philosophical talk is endless, and it is least probable that this film is philosophical in its nature, but for the people that tend to overthink it surely is completely philosophical in its nature.

Acting was good, highly suitable for the needs of the film, that was directed (Francesco Santoro) in the best possible way, considering the experimental genre.

The part that will be most liked by the public is the ending. It is one of a kind and highly comical. Surely this short film will not be of those that you immediately forget after you finish watching it, it will be stuck in your head and it will make you laugh for days.

Jimmy

Jimmy (Samuel Travis) is a calm, smart and caring little boy. That could be seen in the first seconds of this wonderful short film. The kids never forget the abuse or when someone is ignoring them, those terrible memories are usually the first ones we have. The story of this short film took an inspiration in the darkness of the childhood traumas, but it has been told in the most positive and heartwarming way. It is depicting the real-life problems and it is showing us how we should fight them.

One day Jimmy hears a noise coming from the behind of his closet. He goes to check and finds a little mouse there. Right away he gave him a name, Theodor. He gave the meaning to the little creature and found friend in him, found a cure for his loneliness. As he is unspoiled by the atrocities of this world, his child innocence is giving him an urge to take care of the cute little being. Right away he runs to the kitchen and grabs a cookie to feed the mouse, taking care not to be seen by his strict emotionless father. Inhuman father made him commit an unexplainable act, that left the scar on Jimmy’s mind forever. How could a parent treat their child like that? A father with complete absence of feelings, treating his child the way not even an adult should be treated, should not be a father at all.

Jimmy, with scarred mind, grows up to become just like his father. His childhood trauma got the best of him, but unlike his father he posseses human emotions and remembers his childhood. After remembering what happened in the past, he asks his little son for forgiveness.

It should be taken care of, to break the terrible cycle of abuse. A never-ending abuse that goes on for generations should be stopped. Abuse of the children is the main causer of the mental illness during the adulthood. Many of the people we know today that are psychologically suffering are carrying some scar from their childhood. There is no healing the scars completely, they are forever to remain, they are just possible to suppress.
People believe that the phycological trauma will not have influence on the future generations. They are wrong, it crawls into our genes and it is spanning for generations.

Award worthy directing (Christian Sørup Jensen) and amazing child actor (Samuel Traviss) told us at the same time heartbreaking and heartwarming story. Shot quality, and camera movement is great, with suitable pacing and good narrative propulsion. Grown up Jimmy (Simon Pothecary) delivered al the emotions so fast in the most beautiful way possible that will for sure make many of the watchers cry. Simon Pothecary’s acting skills are top notch, all the director’s requests were executed in highly professional manner.

This amazing short film will be stuck in the mind of the watcher for a long time. It is teaching us a life lesson, that shouldn’t be ignored no matter if you are a parent or not.

Poacher

The ivory from one bull elephant can be sold for thirty-thousand American dollars on the black market. Farmers, that are struggling to survive harsh life conditions are racing with the international terrorists for the same prize.
The government established a private surveillance units that are deployed twice a day in order to suppress the poaching.

From one point of view, it is a terrible atrocity to kill an animal such as elephant for personal gain. Even more disgusting fact is that ivory is also being poached in order to finance weapons for wars. But from the point of view of an African farmer that is coping with a terrible life conditions, where basic supplies are in scarce, like food and water, ivory presents an only way to survive. Elephants are even destroying their crops.

The farmer, main character (Brian Ogola) has to find a way to earn money for the medicine his sick child needs. He had an opportunity with high risk that he is willing to steal ivory from the poachers. While on the way home, the woman flying a chopper (Davina Leonard), a member of surveillance unit recognizes him as a poacher and calls for backup. What happens next is a question of action and reaction, morale and humanity.
The poachers are the ones that should be judged without mercy.

Are his actions right, there is a lot of space to think about morale of the farmers deeds. Here can come to the clash of opinions. Fighters for animals’ rights would probably judge him but realistically way of thinking would be that he actually did the right thing. Any other parent would act the same way as he did. On the other hand, he didn’t actually kill an elephant, he just stole the ivory.

Director of this short film (Tom Whitworth) did an amazing job, video quality even in the low light ambience is perfect. The acting of the main characters, Brian Ogola and Davina Leonard was amazing and they delivered everything that was necessary to the public.

A problem that also represents a big question, were the actions of the poachers when they came to his village too much? Ending has a mysterious tone, that leaves the public in wonder. Where is he gone? Is his wife really killed? What will happen with his children or with him?

This short film is raising awareness of the elephant extinction. We could not stop the extinction of many species, can we finally become more aware of the problem and start acting more seriously before it’s too late. It looks like the surveillance patrols are not enough, and another approach has to be executed in order to provide a better protection of the elephants. We should start fighting the cause, not just prevent the deed itself.

We are sleeping for too long. It is mandatory to wake ourselves up and taking care not to fall asleep again.
At the current rate of elephant hunting, all of the elephants will extinct by 2025.

Futureworld

Futureworld represents a great animation that leads us through the unusual journey through the state of things of today, all the way to distant future. It is depicting the possible aftermath of the rise of technology, i.e. the impact of technology on human population. How big are the benefits and how great are the disadvantages of the modern technology? There are choices, but do the right ones even exist?

If we pay attention to the current state of things, considering the influence of technology on the human beings, we don’t have to be psychic in order to see the possibility of the catastrophic future. We are burying ourselves in our shells, satisfied with our phones and computers, we don’t even have a need to go outside to see the light of day or interact with other people. Yes, in some ways the technology made our lives easier. The communication with people that are far away is easier than ever. It is simple, available to everyone without limits of time and space. The negative side is that we are aware that it is easier to communicate with our friends and family on the internet, but we are forgetting how to behave with other people in person. Even, the virtual love stories exist, they begin virtually and end virtually, without any real-world contact. It is scary how nowadays you can just visit any online profile of the person you are interested to communicate with and get almost all of their personal information you are interested in. Nothing can and should replace the real world, because the life is made of little things we do with other people, not virtually but in the real world. Virtual stays virtual, we can just lie to ourselves claiming otherwise.

The animation shows us also that in a way, we are becoming extremely addicted to the technology and somehow, we are its slaves. In a way we are slowly turning into robots, just following commands, rarely using our own head. Buried in our screens we are not aware of what is going on around us. We do see what is going on sometimes on our screens but our actions are equal to zero.

Majority of the people will probably be using their phones, checking their Facebook and Instagram accounts while watching this animation. Some would probably the same while reading this review. What is the message that we should understand? We are the ones that created the abomination of today’s technology, we are its master and we should never let it to gain the control over our lives.

Christopher Angus did a great job in visually showing us all of things mentioned above. Animation is comical, it will surely make you laugh most of the time, but the true message of this animation is much more serious than depicted. The idea is simple but beautifully realized. The story should make everyone think about the influence of technology on their lives and be aware of the psychology behind it.

Before Night Comes – Antigone Speech

Before Night Comes – Antigone Speech, is a visually presented famous Sophocles’ tragedy – Antigone. Poetical and ominous short film that is dark in its nature. The director (Joaquim Pavão) did a wonderful job in presenting the suffering of Antigone. Absence of light, the hellish body language, buried alive in the dirt enhanced the emotional sensations of the watcher. Great narrator was for some too fast for some just as narration should be like.

Amazing acting (Isabel Fernandes Pinto) almost started transferring Antigone’s pain and suffering to the public, and made them think again about the great Sophocles’ masterpiece.

Antigone is religious, and she wants to decently bury her brother Polynices (Rui Pena), but the tyrant ruler Creon forbids it. The film artistically represents the psychological and ethical conflict both of the society and Antigone as an individual.

Antigone contradicts Creon’s order and decides to bury her brother by the Greek commons. She is aware that she will be punished, but she does not care about endangering her life. Her decision was fatal. Creon gave the order to bury her alive in the tomb of kings. The brought decisions she defends by the common sense, having no children, no husband, she doesn’t have anything to regret for. In the verses her strength will could be easily spotted. Like anyone who is different than the majority of the society, she is strong but lonely.

Antigone is idealized by her faith, love and unselfishness, and doesn’t care about the possible consequences of her deeds. Her speech colorizes her suffering. She is full of sorrow because she is going to die young, unmarried and without any friends and family to mourn her death. Hemon (Claudinei Garcia) was Creon’s son, he begged his father for mercy considering that the God’s laws above his fathers, but in vain. He was engaged to Antigone.

Main problematic of the Sophocles’ tragedy and this short film is the conflict between godlike and humanlike values. In the antic time it was believed that the soul of the deceased will be at calm if the body is covered in dust. It is not worthy to die because of morale and serving the society because the family is the most important and will always be there for you. One will be more likely abandoned by the society than one’s family. The majority of us is willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their family.

It is easy to use Antigone’s words, but many of us would endlessly think what and how should we do the thing that happened to her.

The art is a spiritual medicine that we consume in order to be healed from the bad things in our lives, everybody in their own way. This short film indeed represents one of the best medicines of that kind. The film has a great mind, spirit, talent, sense and sensibility and fantasy. It is wonderful how the most negative of human emotions can be the cause of such a beautiful art.

On the Verge of ___

On the Verge of… The title itself makes the watcher thinks and begins to fill his mind with mystery. The entrance scene itself, consumes the watcher’s mind and leaves him in a complete wonder. Breathless, simple but yet complex film that is in a way dark and melancholic.

Who is Mitya (Aleksei Konsin)? A boy who is learning how to become a shaman? A confused teenager? A boy who is just more longing for the spiritual world and doesn’t care about material one? Or just a curious boy who is interested in esotery and all the mysteries of life and “beyond”.
Mitya is suffering from epilepsy, he has seizures in which he experiences visions, almost out of body experiences. Often, he is seeing raven in his visions, and claims that raven is his totem animal. Andrey (Igor Vorobev), Mitya’s father, is a short-minded person that does not understand his sons’ vegetarian diet and his spirituality, he doesn’t want to accept him being different. After uncle Kolya’s (Rasid Aituganov) visit, everything begins to change. Mitya is much more open towards his uncle than father, probably because he was the only person besides his friend that introduced him to shamanism that understood him.
Andrey begins to question both Mitya and Kolya. He starts to think that they are members of religious sect and starts questioning their sexuality. Too long he was suppressing his emotions and in one moment he exploded. True shock is triggered in the mind of a watcher when Mitya’s inferentiality towards death unveils.

What this short film is trying to present is that we should open our eyes, stop being repulsive towards the new ideas, and avoiding the new unknown things. Many people are being abused every day just for being different, for not following “the flock”. We could expect that kind of behavior from anybody but when it comes from our parents it hurts the most. Therefore, Mitya closed himself in his shell, in his own world. One of the ways of understanding his character is depression. Recently his mother died, and maybe that is the reason he is trying to reach the spiritual world. He is hoping that he might find his mother in “the transformation of soul”, the way he understands death.

Maybe the films outcome wouldn’t be as such if Mitya had someone to talk to before, someone who would understand him. The situation which later stays carved in the mind of the watcher is the doctor’s reaction. As the time passes, after the film finished, it starts making the watcher angry in some way.

Each actor played his part the best way possible. Good directing (Anna Antonova) gave the film dark, emotional, otherworldly and mysterious note. Filmed so everybody could understand the story in their own way.

Whether the watcher is religious, atheist, agnostic this amazing short film will leave him/her in wonder. This is a kind of psychological and philosophical film that will make you think about it for a long time, you want be able to forget so quick like some.

YOU or ME

Rorrim

Rorrim – a short film about a girl suffering from multiple personality disorder (MPD). Amazing young actress (Teressa Liane) makes you read from her expressions what is going on both on the inside and on the outside. Forever consuming our emotions and not sharing them with friends or family can make one, just like the main character, loose their mind permanently. Another problem is that we are living in a world where mental condition is still a big taboo subject. A lot of persons that are aware that they have a problem are ashamed to admit it, and to talk about it. Usually the time when we discover that somebody had a problem is when it’s too late.

As most of the people has an image in their head about the human mind being integrated and consistent, such difference in the one’s behavior creates questions which of the behaviors of the specific person represents the real one, the first, second, third or how much exists. Some believe that actually all of the personalities combined represent the “real me”.

Adrianne (Teressa Liane) looks like that her personality is not integrated as it should be. Instead there are weakly connected parts of the mind, and one of them is taking over the control or is being activated at the unknown time triggered by the different situations. Her mind is “fragmented” on three parts. One of them is the “normal” state of mind, as we see it, being happy and enjoying life. Second one that completely makes her a different person is harming her body and destroying her belongings. It represents her emotions that are being suppressed. It is telling us that the actual “normal” mind condition is actually not satisfied with the life she is leading, that there is something more than just living it the small apartment, going to work and wearing boring clothes. The third personality wants to safe her from the malicious one, representing a form of her mind’s defensive mechanism.
Which one will prevail, is there a way out?

When the conflict between her personalities becomes intense, her “normal” state becomes totally blocked. In that state, she is utterly uncapable of helping herself. She needs the help of a doctor that seems unreachable.

Another possible interpretation of this sinister short film is the spiritual possession. As in many famous horror films about demonic possession, the “patients” in the beginning are considered to be mentally ill. Maybe this second interpretation is more correct because of the ending. Maybe the light was just different, but something definitively happened with Adrianne’s eyes. The evil took over. What will happen to her friend?

High quality directing (M.P. Murdock) gave us insight into all of the little details that put the puzzle together. The simple but great idea, and the amazing acting made this film prestigious to watch. The presented problem should be thought about by many people. We should remove the mental health from the taboo subject category.
Have you ever wondered how many personalities you have?

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