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not_from_here

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3 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Three minutes, 22 February 2008

This is a short film. Very short. Its even short compared to other short films. So what can we expect to see in just 2 - 3 minutes? Well I'm not going to describe the plot as the previous reviewer has done that. I am also not going to describe the ending because that is a lot of what the film is about. Plus if you go see the film then you will not have long to wait to find out how it ends. Because it is a very short film.

What can be said is that the story is effectively told by just the thoughts of the cast and the use of the camera. Not a word is spoken by either actor. We hear them talking about the situation to themselves in their heads and each gets the situation wrong. Both have fears about the situation, both know the right thing to do, but neither of them does it and then.....

Under Daniel Cormack's direction all the fears, thoughts and tension of the situation are communicated and when the end comes then...well go find out yourself.

Particular points which stand out are the way the camera cuts from one character to the other with perfect timing and doesn't dwell on either one for too long. It can't anyway because there's only three minutes to play with, but its still impressive. Also the scene is well chosen and it really feels like late at night in a deserted part of town (this might be helped by the fact that apparently it was filmed at 2 a.m. as Cormack used equipment hired for another project to cut costs!).

This is the third of Cormack's fictional films which I have seen and some strong themes come through each of them. Firstly there's the excellent camera work both technically and creatively which make the films stand out and communicate the story well. The pace and timing of the direction is also excellent with a great deal of information put across in the short space of time. Each story has twists and turns enough to make them complex pieces of work. This stimulates the viewer to think there is something else about the characters which we are not told. His casting is also excellent. For instance here he uses an actress (Raquel Cassidy) known for her strong feminine roles to play the part of the vulnerable commuter.

Based on the evidence shown in these three shorts Cormack is an emerging talent from whom we should be able to look forward to producing more excellent work. Lets hope that it longer than three minutes next time. Because this is a very short film:)

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Who do you want me to be?, 20 February 2008

If you lost someone close to you then you could have a number different reactions. If you go out to work in the morning what do you expect to find? In this film both situations combine to provide an unexpected result.

Two journalists set out on a routine task to get a story of a young man who has died. The youngest one (Nelstrop) is given the job of knocking on the door of the family home. The more experienced one (Bretton) lectures him on the technique to use to get in the door. Mention the name of the deceased several times in the intro, use the phrase 'tragic loss' instead of death and most importantly get a picture, you must get a picture. His performance as a reporter hasn't been great so far and this could be his last chance

But it doesn't turn out like either of them expect. He gets in the door easily. The woman answers his questions in a bemused manner. She seems surprised by his questions, what is he talking about? Does he want to eat, then does he want to sleep? He accepts all this and is shown to the room of the dead young man. At this point the viewer (at least the one writing this review did!) realises what is going on but because this is subtlety done we don't reject the idea as crazy. It seems as if the woman is using him as a replacement to her lost son and just as worrying he seems to accept this.

Outside the female reporter grows tired of waiting and knocks on the door herself. But she is sent away confused, where has her colleague gone? Is this the house he went into? Why will he not come out?

All this is conveyed by Daniel Cormack in this short film with economy and precision. There are no gaps, no filler, no padding. In such a short film there is no time for that and there is also not much time to tell a story as completely as done here. The camera work is excellent switching between scenes perfectly and technically superb. This must have been a challenge across the different scenes in the car, street and various rooms in the house. the film is worth watching for this alone and actually now that I have told you the ending perhaps thats just as well!

We can only speculate what happens next. Does the man escape? Does he care? Is it preferable to stay here being looked after than getting back into the car to be hassled by his colleague. What does she report on when she gets back to the office? Hello, I'm back I didn't get the story and I'v e lost Niall ?

Perhaps if Cormack gets the chance to produce longer films then this could be revisited and the ideas explored further. Maybe even this film could be combined with Amelia & Michael in which a young man dies. Could this be the woman's son? The number of plots and subplots that idea throws up is mind boggling!!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
What do you know about Amelia and Michael?, 18 February 2008

How much do you know about those you should know most about? How much should you know? Do you need to know everything? Amelia and Michael should know everything about each other as they are a prosperous, successful, professional married couple. Yet each keeps a secret from each other in Daniel Cormack's debut film.

Amelia has a devotion to a critically injured young man and she visits him whilst he is lying in a hospital bed. He is hooked up to a life support machine and is still and silent. Who he is we never find out, a lover or male relative perhaps? Michael's secret is more straightforward he lies about a business trip and uses a call girl. He suffers from guilt, she from grief. In the end they confess to each other and have no more secrets. Except that he was called by a colleague when in the hotel room he uses and she casts an eye over a young man who passes by on a motorbike. Does this mean that they are serial offenders? As the viewer we think we know all about them but at the end we can't be sure.

Cormack manages to put this story across in a short space in an economic style which nevertheless packs in lots of information and detail. The viewer is never left to watch too long on one aspect of the film but it never feels like being rushed, the pace is superb.

In his first film Cormack has managed to tell a story well and use his star actor (Anthony Head) well. The technical standard is very high and at no time does it feel like a low budget film. He is obviously a talent to watch out for in future.