Director/Writer – Nicole Witte Solomon
Runtime – 23 minutes
That’s as much as I will offer in as far as a synopsis in order that I don’t provide any spoilers.
Small Talk has an appreciatively fast pace, has a believable premise (in part, insert knowing ‘winky’ face here) that is well acted and boasts an overall enjoyable witty vibe that may well crush various stereotypes associated with the phone sex trade.
Clever, unique, and well directed with just enough dry wit and drive to keep the viewer interested and leave them wanting more. Bravo. However, this left me pondering… is this is a teaser for a more effect and humor laden full length?
Writer/Director – Dan Sunley
Runtime – 15 minutes (preview “festival” version)
Isabella (Kristy Guest), having volunteered to do what her parents won’t, finds herself alone packing away her deceased Grandmother’s belongings.
An old notebook falls from a box. Curious, Isabella opens it discovering various scrawled undecipherable messages inside and a puzzle piece. Later after investigating strange noises emanating from the attic she unearths a tin box containing more of the same puzzle. It’s finished all but a for a few pieces. Unable to curtail her growing curiosity Isabella proceeds to rifle though drawers’ intent on finishing the picture before her as it looks strangely similar. Though oddly different, to an aging photograph she has in her possession which she has repressed memories of.
What or who is making are the noises in the attic, who constructed the writings/drawings in the notebook what do they mean, why is the image in the puzzle eerily akin to the photograph, who is the figure in black and why is it that Isabella is so prone to blindly follow and investigate strange noises in the dead of night when most ‘sane’ folks would bolt in absolute fear at the slightest noise and not look back?
I’m happy to report that Pieces is a short one won’t easily be able to push aside into the realm of ‘watched but easily forgotten’. It boasts stylish production values, well thought out and meticulously crafted camera techniques and crisp acting throughout with numerous moments of suspense so expertly executed one might actually believe they’re actually witnessing a cleverly ‘clipped’ segment from a full length feature sporting a much more extravagant budget.
The score/soundtrack is a testament to knowledge of the genre itself and fits the visuals on screen like a glove (Giallo reference there!) adding tremendous power to the overall aura of each scene, be it oozing with a ‘jump scare’ or one with a thoroughly distracting though innocuous nature.
Appreciatively the media packet associated with this (short) feature is of a similar standard, in fact a professional quality rarely witnessed by this humble scribblin’ servant to the Indie scene. With all that being said the short still leaves room and questions that a full length could easily flesh out while displaying qualities that work excellently well obviously derived from time well spent and experience in the film making arena. In my opinion and unlike the amassed, milling, hordes of snobbish critics I don’t deem it necessary for every question to be answered. There’s always room for a certain amount of mystery to linger, as in real life there are always enigmas that remain amusingly unsolved and quandaries that require time, intelligence and varying (often outlandish) opinions in order to resolve.
In essence this is an exciting short with stunning attention to detail that deserves attention and heaps of praise. Look for Pieces in an upcoming fund raising campaign, support the talent behind it and keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming feature (with a larger budget that allows for the director’s vision to truly shine) that will leave Paranormal Activity rehashes shamed and wiped clean from recent memories.