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This little beauty makes its way out of Wales perhaps, and is a concise
short about a trip on a public bus through the country. Shot in
beautiful 35mm, this short seems less of a short than a slice of real
life. It contains all the properties of a real situation down to the
overly stereotyped bus driver. Even the script is tight, as camera
blends with narrative and the images of a typical bus ride through the
country melds into a living breathing film. Characters are likable,
confrontations are believable, and the scenery is gorgeous. Overall,
this is a textbook example of short film-making.
I was lucky enough to see it as a part of the Open APPerture Short Film Festival in Boone, North Carolina and am quite happy to have found it here on the IMDb. To whomever the filmmakers are who made this film, thank you for your submission.
As his sister waits at the bus stop, a young man hurtles down a
hillside just in time to catch the bus to school the only one in this
area of rural Wales. However once on the bus he starts to get changed
and ignore the bothering from his younger sister but his problems
only get worse as others get on the bus as well.
Opening with a scene that crashes our main character together with a lamb trying to walk for the first time we are left with the knowledge that this short has "something to say" but will not say it in an easy to follow way. And for me this was the biggest problem I just didn't get it. I understood the theme of the brother standing up for himself for the first time and perhaps this being connected with the death of his mother (hence the lamb's mother later in the film) but it was all delivered in such a manner that made it impossible to understand without doing a lot of guessing for yourself. There is nothing wrong with a film allowing viewers to do the work themselves but this one appeared to be character driven and letting us make up the characters for ourselves was a bit of an ask.
Outside of this it is worth seeing because it is convincing and quite naturally shot, with realistic characters (mostly) and good direction that makes good use of the limited location. A little bit more detail, a little bit more development and, at the risk of making myself look like a fool (too late), a little more help in understanding would have been useful. Worth seeing because others have gushed about it, but I thought it needed more substance and a little less "deep meaning".
One thing I've noticed about a lot of short films that I've recently
seen ( And now that BIG BROTHER has finished its run on channel 4 while
BBC 2 has scheduled a season of shorts we're spoiled rotten for
screenings of short films at the moment ) is how many of them hit home
as to what a bunch of violent thugs we have living in this country
Take SISTER for example . An Asiatic lad sits on the school bus with his sister and to escape her nagging he decides to sit up the back . Bad decision because as the bus continues on its run a couple of bullies get on and is often the case group dynamics take over when they spot someone different to themselves
Despite being well made and despite the upbeat ending this is yet another depressing short film made in Britain , mainly down to it being a slice of real life . Can't anyone get funding for a cheerful short in this country anymore ? I should also point out that having a Welsh cast makes it very difficult when the characters in general and the two neanderthals in particular are very difficult to understand when they open their mouths
A truly exceptional short film! Subtle, powerful, and masterfully handled. Disturbingly real and stark performances from all of the teenage cast. Well worth staying up late to catch on a BBC 'best of' shorts collection. Bleak beautiful mountainous landscapes contrast sharply with the children's aggressive manner. An outsider (a boy of Chinese decent) has his routine disrupted when he sits further back in the school bus to avoid his step sister's nagging. From there things start to disintegrate for the boy as he enters a world of latent sexual energy. In the end it's the relationship with his sister . Well that would be telling. More from this director please!
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