Short: Late Night Local (2014)

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First up, good news if you’re one of the people who caught it at a festival, or have been hassled by someone who caught it at a festival going “seriously, you have to watch this, it’s amazing” – “They Will Outlive Us All” has been picked up by Wild Eye Releasing and will getting an actual release sometime next year. Seriously, you have to watch this, it’s amazing.

That film’s writer / producer / star Jessi Gotta and director Patrick Shearer, along with other actors and filmmakers, have formed Inappropriate Films, and this is their first. It’s a shade over 12 minutes and this should be interesting for me, too, as I’ve never reviewed a short. The first thing you’ll notice is how good it looks – the late night black and white New York is captured beautifully, even if it’s just side streets, alleys and subway stations. It’s easy to make rolling hills look good, more difficult with the ugly bits of a city.

The story, as it must be, is simple – a man smoking and reading “Hamlet” on the street sees a very drunk woman stumbling into a subway station, and as he’s going the same way himself, sort of keeps an eye on her as a man who looks a lot more suspicious is hovering around. Who are these people? It reminds me of the best episodes of British TV classic “Tales of the Unexpected”, where you don’t have enough information to even guess the answer at the beginning, but when it arrives you don’t feel cheated in any way. The use of sound is clever too – the men are both listening to music, so as we switch perspectives we switch soundtrack.

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I really enjoyed this, and I think it speaks highly of the Inappropriate Films people that they’re not limiting themselves to any particular genre or style. I hope Jessi Gotta gets the recognition her talent deserves (and not just because I want to be able to say I was in on the ground floor of that fanbase), and that this strong group of people can carry on making interesting stuff like this.

Rating: thumbs up

PS. I’ve always wanted to be on the publicity for a film, but I’m no good at providing those punchy quotes that you see on posters – “Cruise has never been better!” – Yahoo Film; you know the drill. So, now the actual review is done, I’m going to try a few, and if Inappropriate Films want to use one, I’d be giddy with glee.

“A short film with a long reach” – nah, too cheesy
“Inappropriate Films, Appropriately Entertaining” – wow, that was bad
“A group of filmmakers worth paying attention to” – too generic?
“Proof that low budgets are no problem if you’ve got talent” – awful

I give up. I’ll leave the pull-quotes to the professionals, and stick to making bad jokes about horror franchises and encouraging you, dear reader, to support independent filmmaking like this.

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