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Christopher de Hamel,
This unique short film follows the night of a young British insomniac named Jack, narrated almost hour by hour from a first hand perspective. You see what he sees, you feel what he feels, you experience the horrible delusions and the verge of insanity as he struggles to find the thinning line between reality and the subconscious. Written by
When Jack is changing after the shower, he collapses onto the bed without a shirt on. But when he jumps back up, he is wearing a shirt. A few shots later when he answers the door, he is once again shirtless. Then he puts on that same shirt in the very next scene and wears it for the rest of the film. See more »
Oh, come on, Jack, lighten up! You're supposed to be happy to see me!
You're supposed to be dead!
Yeah, I know, it's a goddamn tragedy.
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Although the shoestring production value is quite clear from the mini-DV footage, the script and conceptualization are just so amazing that I couldn't help but love it. For a film that was made on virtually no money (most of which probably went into paying for Mr. Monaghan) it is surprisingly effective and engaging from start to finish.
Are there flaws? Sure. Some of the supporting actors feel more amateur (although decent for their limited experience) and again, the look of the film is pretty cheap. But bearing in mind that it was made ten years ago by a girl who was still in high school, it's pretty damn impressive. At about 30 minutes long, it's got the strength of a solid story with what is often downright brilliant dialogue and voice over. For a first time director, the shots aren't bad and although the cinematography isn't often up to par, the editing is generally clever enough to make up for it and to give it a genuine feel in spite of the low budget. The original score composed for the film is excellent as well, especially the creepy horror version of "Row Row Row Your Boat" and the recurring theme track.
Another bonus is that the only way to see this is to buy the DVD...and the DVD is absolutely packed with extras to make up for the short length of the main film, including a lengthy making-of featurette, tons of B roll footage and outtakes, and a collection of additional short films, all of which are low budget (student films, I believe) but quite interesting in their own ways.
In summary, it's not necessarily the most professional film, so if you are looking for flashy effects and gorgeous visuals, you won't find it here. However, it IS one of the most creative scripts I've come across in a while and well worth seeing for the offbeat mood and creep factor that it creates. And as a whole package, the DVD is most definitely worth owning. I have watched through it a few times now and am not regretting the money spent at all. Great little indie.
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