Those of you Fellow Fans that keep reading my work have endured my prattling about the virtues of the short film medium before; I’m sure to some of you, ad nauseum. Still, I stand by my assertion that the most important element any good short film must have is that it gives you enough to finish the story yourself, or at least come up with more of the story. Otherwise, you have a snippet of something that no one that watches will know what the hell is going on; worse still, they won’t care. Every bad short film I’ve ever seen, it’s inevitably that feeling of having wasted my time on something that I don’t give a rat damn about that I’m left with. Avoiding this is a tremendous challenge to the short film maker; they have to plant a seed in your mind that will grow into a branching complex of ideas, all with their initial idea in mind…all in just a few minutes.
Every now and again, one of those short films will be enriched enough, through skillful writing, directing, or acting (typically all three) that elevates it to a point that you find yourself thinking about it hours, perhaps days after viewing…you feel compelled to watch it again to squeeze out some more information, some little detail that you may have missed. Talented actors bring believable characters into your life; a good script makes you care about them, feel for them; deft direction puts you into their lives as a helpless spectator, a monitor of their tribulations that impress themselves upon you even in the short time that you experience them.
Jared Bratt’s film Streamer, from Candy Eater Films, is one of those. Only two characters, one room, and shot almost entirely in closeup, this little movie, ironically, will get into your head and dig in. It begins with a young man, obviously distraught, sitting in his bathroom. He’s obviously pondering something of great weight; his body language, expressions and mannerisms reflect this well; they’re things we’ve all seen in ourselves when something was heavy upon our minds. Initially, he seems to be having some horrid yet sensual dream, but we snap with him to reality as he begins talking to himself, animated and a bit frantic. He meticulously relives an experience where he met someone that attracted him on many levels; he analyzes what was said, where, how, and why; all in painstaking detail. What was she thinking? Did she feel as he did about their encounter? He struggles with himself, and I found myself recalling times where I’d done the same thing in my own past (all of this is within four minutes…very good scripting and acting). During his self-reproach, he’s intruded upon…or is he? We see the object of his stress, both in flashback and in the bathroom with him…don’t we?
I won’t give anything away, but I will say that the use of clever camera angles and amazing acting made this a very entertaining nine minutes of my life. Ryan Fisher, as “The Guy”, plays off his character’s self-struggle in a very convincing and gripping soliloquy; you feel sorry for him at first, but come to be kinda worried for, perhaps even intimidated by as the film goes on. “The Girl”, Cydney Penner, comes across as the lovely girl-next-door one minute, yet sensually sinister in the next; I was very impressed with both of these performances, especially in a short. The scenery is…well, it’s a bathroom; we’ve all seen them. However, the lighting and angles used make it both claustrophobic and intimate, depending upon the need of the moment.
As I write this, it’s been over three hours since I watched it, and I’m still rolling it around in the ol’ noggin; that’s the true beauty of this one for me, folks. I don’t know if what I watched was a study of a dangerously obsessive psychotic, or of a poor, unfortunate son of a bitch that’s happened upon some creature of darkness, ready to consume first his sanity, then his soul. Was there a woman in the room, or just in his head…or both? Whichever of these things (or none of them!) that this film really is, it’s an excellent glimpse into the horror that just might lurk within our own minds.
Check it out if you can, peeps. Personally, I want to see more from this writer/director and these actors.
Check out the trailer below!
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