A man named ken enters an almost empty underground car park at night. he enters into his van and drives up to the barrier inserting his ticket into the barrier lifting machine. Having no ... See full summary »

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A man named ken enters an almost empty underground car park at night. he enters into his van and drives up to the barrier inserting his ticket into the barrier lifting machine. Having no response kicks it making the lights go off. He pushes the help button and a strange voice starts tormenting him for the bad person he really is. Written by hello-660-290020

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January 2004 (UK)  »

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Intriguing Piece For Marber Fans
2 June 2011 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

Early in his career, Patrick Marber proved he could craft surrealistic comedy verging upon the absurd (On the Hour, The Day Today), later using his talents for creepier, darker fare (Notes on a Scandal).

Old Street, tonally and temporally, lies at a crossroads between those two styles. The short follows a lone working class man as he tries to leave a parking garage late one night, but is impeded by a barrier that won't lift and a derisive, disembodied voice interrogating him after he appeals to the machine's "emergency" button for help.

Had the film been any longer than its thirteen minutes, Old Street likely would have bored, as in lieu of character growth, its arc is built on increasing tension. However, it doesn't last long enough to drag, and comes to a satisfyingly eerie conclusion.

The film is somewhat hindered by Ray Winstone's not entirely convincing performance, and by the occasionally amateurish cinematography. I was surprised to see Danny Cohen (The King's Speech, This is England, Nathan Barley) as the DP, as some of the shots felt like pretentious film school fare (reflections in mirrors, awkward angles).

Overall, though, Old Street is an interesting short, worthwhile to check out - especially for those wondering how Patrick Marber went from Knowing Me, Knowing You to Notes on a Scandal and Closer.


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