Author Topic: just Just Withnail's short films  (Read 20661 times)

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Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #135 on: December 02, 2017, 09:48:42 AM »
+2
Thank you jenks!

Those are mighty mighty good words to hear. I was pretty nervous about this whole project, as the form and feel was pretty different from the other shorts, not to mention the fact of portraying a situation so extremely far from my own experience (while the other shorts have been extremely close), and as usual towards the end of it all I've gotten completely blind on the whole thing.

It's based on a true story from my home town, where we also shot. I thought it had a lot of potential to show one small situation with a gigantic backdrop. The story had a fabric to it that I thought could touch on a lot of themes from my other shorts, exactly the ones you mention.

It also could let me try to go further into our-relationship-to-technology territory. Further into the almost supernatural, mystical elements of it. Being everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Or: being everywhere, yet not at all, yet always, unavoidably, extremely just where you are, physically.

I realized late in the process that the film is essentially structurally an upgrade of to hand to hand to mouth, my short from 2011 (link close to the beginning of the thread).
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

wilder

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #136 on: December 02, 2017, 04:49:07 PM »
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Always enjoy watching your work. It definitely feels different than your previous shorts but in an interesting, ‘let’s explore this other thing’ way. Loved the jump cut storytelling style. There’s a moment where he gets off the phone after hearing bad news and you jump cut to him stepping into shadow as he hangs up (5:29). Little details like that are cool.

The nearly silouhetted students in the opening seemed to subconsciously promote the idea that we’re all the same regardless of race or nationality (not to be rote…) by obscuring those features of people’s faces with the lack of light, that the conflict this one guy is experiencing is a universal pain. They’re human bodies not (fill in the blank ethnicity), and the idea that they’re all learning a language and bridging a gap between themselves and others certainly reinforces that.

You have an amazing way of incorporating modern technology and the new behaviors that go along with it in your filmmaking that feels extremely organic and simultaneously insightful, avoiding the gimmickry that can plague a lot of other narrative work when it tries to do this and be current. I’m referring to the part where he takes a selfie and goes through the filters briefly before posting. Like, this is a serious subject, but his life is continuing to roll forward and is he going to apply those filters as he does in a state of normalcy? Of course he is. Also loved the moment when you cut to him again in class, the camera tracking in and then out from outside, the sense of panic and fear building. 

Your scene set ups all feel so real. When he gets dressed for the restaurant and you have the kitchen working as he goes in briefly to pick up the plated food, you get the sense that those other characters had/have business to attend to before and after - that their lives extend beyond the frame.

Or: being everywhere, yet not at all, yet always, unavoidably, extremely just where you are, physically.

I really felt this confusing helplessness in the final moments of the short. The inability for the brain and body to agree and reconcile the distance collapsing effect of modern communication with our primal understanding of space. Super interesting idea that I'd be game to see explored further.

matt35mm

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #137 on: December 02, 2017, 06:23:37 PM »
0
give it

Drenk

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #138 on: December 02, 2017, 09:21:38 PM »
+1
As someone who's often freaked out by maps, I can say that this short was very effective on me and articulated feelings and impressions I had in a way I could have never imagined. This is my kind of cocktail.

In short: I thought it was very good.

Google Map is a strange thing, you can scroll kilometers under where you live and even if you stay in your country the names evoke nothing, and it is difficult to wonder about all the people whose lives are impregnated by these names and places you can't fathom.

The map here is a physical map. It is hard to talk about this short because I can't explain my fascination. Before I knew about the story, I was fascinated by this map. I didn't know it would haunt the rest of the short. What's haunting is the impossibility to feel it. The entirety of the world. And it is true that technology changed the way we conceive the world.

This strangeness is very strong in the short. It's not just the map. It's the world itself. The streets. The mountains. I suppose it isn't strange to you. These places must be where you live or not that foreign to you but I'm sure you were able to see them as strange to capture them that way. This is something that you're very good at, I remember how in a previous short of yours the house where a child was playing seemed weirder and weirder the longer the shot was—I even said that I almost thought that something surnatural would happen. This is what cinema can offer. The possibility to see how surnatural nature can seem. The possibility to see us with alien eyes.

The last shot is breathtaking; it takes it one step further...

It's difficult to tell a story as actual while making it personal without denaturing it or showing disrespect but you found your way in. Now I can recognize your work and it is entirely you. The rythme. The way it looks. The storytelling. Once again, it looks gorgeous. I think of Jacques Audiard and Terrence Malick but once again the fluidity of your work is from your own DNA. I love it, it's intimate. I'm a fan.

I could articulate my thoughts in a better way, but I agree with the previous posts. Are you still writing a movie about the internet?



I'm so many people.

WorldForgot

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #139 on: December 03, 2017, 01:12:43 AM »
+1
Great, great short film.

I don't have much to add that wilder, Drenk, and Jenkins haven't already articulated far better than I could, besides that your sense of tempo/rhythm is impeccable. Watching your other shorts before this one helped contextualize thematic interests, but I think moreso it allowed me to watch your storytelling evolve to this latest state of momentum. It's the jump cuts, but it's also the brevity with which you illustrate our protagonist.  In the first two minutes you know the conflict and the scope, but you don't have an idea of where this breakneck pace will take you.

Reminds me of the best character dramas. Feels immediate, because it's rooted in our present, each instant honest and honestly instant.

Something Spanish

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #140 on: December 03, 2017, 09:34:58 AM »
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Good job, sir. A humane, touching, and all too real story. The 10min breezed by so quickly I was surprised when the end credits flashed.

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #141 on: December 04, 2017, 06:07:38 AM »
+2
Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts. Again, the best part of all of this is understanding the film through others reactions.

Always enjoy watching your work. It definitely feels different than your previous shorts but in an interesting, ‘let’s explore this other thing’ way. Loved the jump cut storytelling style. There’s a moment where he gets off the phone after hearing bad news and you jump cut to him stepping into shadow as he hangs up (5:29). Little details like that are cool.

I wanted it to feel more nervous than the other films, to push even more on having a clear formal contrast between the scenes and sequences. The jump-cuts in that specific scene weren't designed to be there from the start, but in the edit I felt they both help us feel his energy build up for the mission and then feel the total cosmic indifference of the big wide-shot all the much more. I wanted an energy that gets its wind taken out of it immediately.

The nearly silouhetted students in the opening seemed to subconsciously promote the idea that we’re all the same regardless of race or nationality (not to be rote…) by obscuring those features of people’s faces with the lack of light, that the conflict this one guy is experiencing is a universal pain. They’re human bodies not (fill in the blank ethnicity), and the idea that they’re all learning a language and bridging a gap between themselves and others certainly reinforces that.

That's a good way of articulating that. My cinematographer suggested the darkness, and I was a bit wary at first, but soon felt it fit perfectly. The surface mood of the scene is joyful, but the darkness hints at other currents. I didn't originally think of the darkness as universalizing, but I can see how it works that way, especially together with the way we don't get to know the other students, but only see them embedding themselves into a new culture through language, and feel hints of longing through the map. With the way we pick up Walid at the end of the scene, I wanted there to be a feeling that any single one of these people could have a similarly intense story, that the camera almost accidentally lands on him. The following job-scenes, and his friendliness with the cook, was a way of showing him getting further established, slowly getting a home here. Burrowing down in a place, instead of across the map to somewhere else. The opposite of mobility (wink wink). Yet his life is of course nowhere near stabile.

Your scene set ups all feel so real. When he gets dressed for the restaurant and you have the kitchen working as he goes in briefly to pick up the plated food, you get the sense that those other characters had/have business to attend to before and after - that their lives extend beyond the frame.

I'm very happy to hear that! I think it's one of those little scenes that can work as natural in a cinema context, even though it's not really like life. What I mean is that he comes in, gives a wave, and the cook just says a super-quick "hi" and scoots him out with the food, perfectly timed. I was afraid it would seem to constructed so I'm happy it didn't feel that way.


Or: being everywhere, yet not at all, yet always, unavoidably, extremely just where you are, physically.

I really felt this confusing helplessness in the final moments of the short. The inability for the brain and body to agree and reconcile the distance collapsing effect of modern communication with our primal understanding of space. Super interesting idea that I'd be game to see explored further.

Altso very well put! This was exactly what I wanted here.

Google Map is a strange thing, you can scroll kilometers under where you live and even if you stay in your country the names evoke nothing, and it is difficult to wonder about all the people whose lives are impregnated by these names and places you can't fathom.

Wow, I *love* this. It's such a harrowing thought.

There's an experimental film in here somewhere. A relatively close-up view of Google Maps, simply panning sideways (slowly enough for placenames to be readable) until it's gone a whole round around the earth.

This strangeness is very strong in the short. It's not just the map. It's the world itself. The streets. The mountains. I suppose it isn't strange to you. These places must be where you live or not that foreign to you but I'm sure you were able to see them as strange to capture them that way. This is something that you're very good at, I remember how in a previous short of yours the house where a child was playing seemed weirder and weirder the longer the shot was—I even said that I almost thought that something surnatural would happen. This is what cinema can offer. The possibility to see how surnatural nature can seem. The possibility to see us with alien eyes.

It's a big drive for me, to try to get myself to see the weirdness of my own surroundings, or to pull out and highlight certain traits. Having lived away from this town for 13 years (although I go back multiple times per year) it's easier now to see how bizzarre this place can be. In this film it was really finding the aspects that made it look like the edge of the world.

Are you still writing a movie about the internet?

I am! Though struggling to write it. I definitely haven't cracked how to do what I like doing as a feature. Like World Wide Woven Bodies it's about when the internet came to that town, but it'll be a different story. It's called Age Sex Location, and is about using the early internet and IRC as an experimental labratory for identity. I know I asked before, but if anyone's got a great anecdote, I'd love to hear.

Great, great short film.

I don't have much to add that wilder, Drenk, and Jenkins haven't already articulated far better than I could, besides that your sense of tempo/rhythm is impeccable. Watching your other shorts before this one helped contextualize thematic interests, but I think moreso it allowed me to watch your storytelling evolve to this latest state of momentum. It's the jump cuts, but it's also the brevity with which you illustrate our protagonist.  In the first two minutes you know the conflict and the scope, but you don't have an idea of where this breakneck pace will take you.

Thank you! I think one of the things that excites me when writing a feature story, is the possibilty of having both the meandering feeling of the previous shorts and the more stressed pacing of this one. I definitely haven't moved permanently away from the other mode.

Good job, sir. A humane, touching, and all too real story. The 10min breezed by so quickly I was surprised when the end credits flashed.

Merci :)
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

 

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