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Rawson Marshall Thurber
Michael Sean McGuinness,
Excellent, natural short that looks at the line between childhood and sexual awakening
Victor lives in New York and is on the edge of puberty, trying to show off his body. A visit to a pool with his friend reveals him to be pretty bad with girls. However one girl sticks in his mind and he sets out to find her in her neighbourhood. When there he experiences not only being a child again but also makes the crossover into being more a man than a child.
This short film has now been developed into a feature with pretty much the same core cast called `Long Way Home'. I haven't seen it as of yet but on the basis of this short I almost certainly will try and hunt it down at some point. The story is basically a day in the life of Victor as he goes downtown (or uptown!?) to see Amanda having fallen for her after meeting her at the pool.
However this basic story has got two very good things going for it. First of all it is all a very clever way of showing that age of crossover from child to teenager/young man. Victor is shown flexing, but also being very shy around girls. His actual crossover is well short as `the boy with the bat' is rejected as his playmate in favour of another, more enjoyable, pursuit. This runs throughout but is done well and without it being forced down our throats like we were thick!
Secondly it's very natural and enjoyable. The shots are all in the street and you get a really good sense of place and atmosphere. This is greatly added to by a superb cast who don't really have to try to be real, because they are. They never feel like they are acting and I bought into the characters from the very start. Rasuk is superb and carries his role off really well wavering between man and boy with little looks and uncertain dialogue. Santiago's character is a little less clear but he does well. In the feature I hope they expand on who he is a little rather than having him as a catalyst without explanation. Marte is good as Amanda and Vazguez is funny as Victor's friend.
Overall this feels very natural and is very enjoyable as a result. A very clear journey between childhood and sexual awakenings that is free of heavy symbolism and never once tires to be arty or pretentious. I eagerly await the feature on the basis of this short.
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