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The Pavement (2015)

The city at night, a couple alone. A scream from the woman, the smoke of the gun...


Taylor Engel


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Credited cast:
Clive Coe Clive Coe ... Brother
Clayton Nemrow ... Man / Narrator
Kerry Norton ... Wife
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So begins what seems to be the narration of a night of passion... but the truth will prove to be quite different. The looping and cyclical narrative structure that supports this short, based on the return to the starting point in several occasions, gives way to a reconstruction of the events made of additions and changes in perspective, an interesting and innovative choice that helps build a strong suspense that keeps the tension high up until the very last frame. In only 3 minutes director Taylor Engel manages to build a perfect deconstruction of classic noir: black and white, the love triangle, the gunshots, crime, blood, the femme fatale, the guilt... the genre's classical elements are all there, but here they become pieces of a dynamic and modern puzzle. The narrator, our protagonist, reconstructs the events of that night, adding narrative elements and information that change our idea of the story. The point of view is always the same, but upon reconstructing the events in the ... Written by www.goodshortfilms.it

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The pavement, the night, those eyes, the glass, the red, the smoke, those lips, her touch, the pavement... Wait, go back!

User Reviews

All about the rhythm of delivery
2 March 2015 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

"The pavement; the pavement; the night; those eyes; the glass; the red; the smoke; those lips; her touch; the breeze; the pavement. Wait. Go back."

This line of dialogue opens the film and is delivered with faded in/out clips of everything being spoken about. At the "go back" we do indeed jump back to the start of the dialogue and to the starting point for this short scene to which we are witness. Each successive time we do this, the dialogue and the scene changes a little bit – almost like it is coming more into focus for whomever it is that is narrating it for us. This simple idea is quite effective because, although the noir-delivery and the specifics of the scene are not too different, the constant resetting of the scene is delivered with a very good pace – with the clips and the narration speeding up as the viewer starts to pay more attention, and contributes towards drawing the viewer in. The film also knows when to slow down and when to linger, so that the significance of the line or clip can be allowed to sink in – not just on the viewer but mainly on the narrator himself.

The black and white images cover up the fact that some of the effects are not the absolute best, but generally it looks crisp and clean; personally I would have liked a bit less light in this noir as it is maybe too crisp for my taste, but it still works. For me it does so because of how well paced the rhythm of delivery is – both in terms of the images, the dialogue, but also the knowledge/understanding of both narrator and viewer. It is only 4 minutes long but it uses this time very well, leaving me feeling satisfied thanks to the effectiveness of the story-telling rather than the detail of the story itself.

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23 February 2015 (USA) See more »

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