7.3/10
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2 user 6 critic

Consignment (2013)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama, Mystery | 30 January 2013 (USA)
The year is 1954, and a lonely young woman yearns for the return of the man who left her alone. When an encounter at a consignment shop leads to the discovery of an ominous box, it seems ... See full summary »

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Cast overview:
Abbra Smallwood ... Margaret
Margaret Wuertz ... Lucille
Jake Gilliam ... Claude
Jessica Erin McGill ... Lila
... The Other Man
Timothy Hull ... Raymond
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The year is 1954, and a lonely young woman yearns for the return of the man who left her alone. When an encounter at a consignment shop leads to the discovery of an ominous box, it seems that happiness may finally be within her grasp. However, a glimpse into another world reveals that all may not be as clear as it once seemed.... Written by Anonymous

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A story of possession and illusion... of longing and the darkest parts of love.


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Not Rated
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30 January 2013 (USA)  »

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A visual masterpiece. And a perplexing short film you'll want to watch more than once.
25 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

Review of Consignment - a Film by Justin Hannah

Imagine, this is 1954 and you're walking around in Any Smalltown, USA. The drugstore is a study in polished chrome and is also the best place to buy a coke and a sandwich. Everywhere you look, the women still wear dresses and the men still wear hats. Streets are kept clean. Cars are once again, like the drugstore, a study in polished chrome. None of this is retro if it's the time you're living in and the first time you're living through it. It all seems new. It doesn't evoke an art critic's term, like Americana, so much as it just feels like America.

But this is a version of 1954 that you might not expect. It's a place where just beneath good manners and conventional gender roles, that sweet old lady who runs the consignment shop might be dealing knowingly in cursed objects. It's a place where even the shiniest trinket box can hold a dark secret. This is the world of Justin Hannah's short film, Consignment.

For an independent film accomplished on a very small budget, it's a visual masterpiece. Scenes are set up very well and almost every shot includes vintage artifacts. It isn't just period clothing and home furnishings the filmmakers got right, but with lots of help, even some fairly big-scale or expensive things, like classic automobiles, and all the way down to the matchsticks and bobby pins. The establishing shots are inviting and draw the viewer in, interior spaces seem period and authentic, and the choice of black and white is ideal. We've all seen B&W used in a retro way to establish a period piece, but seldom this well. The play of light and shadows and the occasional use of reflecting surfaces are both achieved with finesse. Justin Hannah and cinematographer Lee Clements have approached both the filming and the editing with keen eyes.

Add to the visual appeal a haunting original soundtrack by Robert Casal commissioned just for this film and fitting it perfectly. The total aesthetic is reminiscent of early David Lynch, complete with the obligatory bow to Alfred Hitchcock.

Then to the story, competently acted by all the players, but with a through-line which can grow just a little confusing. Not muddled, mind you, but perplexing, in a good way, providing a riddle that will challenge you to watch this short film more than once. Without spoiling the plot, it's enough to say that Consignment involves multiple senses of the title word, as well as lost love, a charmed object, and a curse. Knowing that much, what more could you need? Go and watch Consignment by Justin Hannah and the whole team at Manic Baby. Allow this film to speak for itself.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8ujokj6MHQ

Mark Vanderpool, Founder & Publisher of Port Cities Review

http://portcitiesreview.com

March 2013


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