The cinematography and music of I’m Sorry immediately grabs you. It clearly establishes the unique feeling of the film. There’s no dialogue or plot to the film, yet it’ll have your complete attention the whole way through. By the time it’s finish you’ll wonder why you haven’t seen anything like this before.
Expo opens with a woman in a landed spaceship on the moon recieving the news that her daughter has just died. This scene only last for about a minute, yet it lingers on for the next twelve that are in the film. It never rises above that, or goes anywhere else. The idea for a futurist space film where the science is second to the characters and human experience, is of course good. It’s the execution that’s bad, Expo feels like a cheap play on emotions. One emotional, dramatic scene in a 13 minutue short is fine. Three or four though, is pushing it. Especially with the unbalanced and hardly belivable characters.
Wih that being said, the set and sceneary of this film that takes place on the moon is impressive. However it takes a backseat to the overly soapy story, and isn’t nearly enough to over compensate for it.
Within the first few seconds it becomes apparent that Awake, unlike most short films, is about to take you on a visual journey. It does just that. Following the narrator from his house to the beach, everywhere in between, and then back again. The audience isn’t dragged along though, instead we’re gracefully carried. What’s not apparent though, is what kind of story we’re in. The mood and tone of the first half is done in a way that it’s hard to know exactly what genre it’s ultimately gonna be. Drama, satire, mystery, or possibly all of the above? And while you may get to the end of Awake and think that you’ve seen it before. It wont matter thanks to the impressive directing. If you’re like me you’re already gonna be compelled to watch it again. If not, then I suggest you reconsider.
Killing Time opens with a man emerging from the shadows, wearing the standard trench coat and fedora we’ve come to expect. You’ll immediately get the “seen this one before” attitude, which you’ll drop just as quickly as you picked it up. The first striking thing about Killing Time is the cinemetography. It doens’t look like the work of an amatuer playing around with the camera for the first time. You get the feeling that this director has either a bit of experience under their belt, or just natural talent. The camera is beautifully set up as the actor walks across the room to check out the window and have a seat. Notice how he sinks into the bottom left corner of the screen when he sits. He’s not close to the center of the frame, and delibteraly so. Speaking of the room, it isn’t just a convient place choosen to be shot in. It’s apparent that the decor has been changed to suit this genre and more specificlly this story. Look no futher than the Jack Daniels poster hanging on the wall for proof.
The editing is the next impressive thing you notice. After our character sits you get a shot of his face, then the front door that he’s looking at. Another shot of his face follows but this time the Jack Daniels poster is in the same frame. Our character takes a look at it as if he’s seeing it for the first time, and decides to look in the kitchen for a bottle. This lets us know without any dialogue that the character is not inside of his own home. It’s Hitchcockian the way we’re given the perspective of the character, reminesence of Rear Window.
Speaking of Hitchcock and dialogue, unlike most film noir, this one has no narration. We don’t know exactly how our character got there or why, we have to wait till the end to see. Also there’s no score, which means we’re not in any way lifted from the scene. We as the audience wait in near silence, as if we’re in the very room with the character. This combination tightly builds the tension and suspense. The director doens’t just leave it there though, he adds to it even more. Notice what happens when the character pulls out a cigarette to lite.
If you can’t tell already, Killing Time is a technical masterpiece as far as micro budget short films go. Hard to believe it’s all cramed into two and a half minutes.