Watersprite: Relationships



The short films in the “Relationships” series at Watersprite differ in tone and story. Together they made for an entertaining watch on a Sunday afternoon in the Palmerston Room of St John’s College.

The South African film VIOLINS is a visual and musical feast that ignites all your senses. The colour red is as noticeable in this as it is in Steven Spielberg’s SCHINDLER’S LIST. Raw sound squeaks from violins throughout the film. A young, muscular man is tied to a chair as the music swirls around him; blood red masking tape is fastened across his mouth. Then we see a sequence of female faces, each one with the same coloured masking tape across their mouths, leaving them speechless; but one by one they peel it off, freeing themselves.

Maxim Dashkin directs the accomplished MOVING IN CIRCLES (2015). Russian Maria (Agniya Kuznetsova) cuts soldiers’ hair on a freezing military base, in the property she shares with her husband. She’s keen to leave the base and get their own apartment, but when her generous husband gives it up to a colleague and his pregnant wife, Maria decides to flee. Dashkin and Inga Kirkizh’s script asks the question if the grass really is greener.

FINGERTIPS (2015) from director Basile Vuillemin flew highest on Sunday. Written by the team of Boris Tilquin, Jérôme Van Grunderbeek and the director, they drop their protagonist Alain (Fabrice Rodriguez) in the worst possible situation, as he is unable to help his vegetative son; and to increase the pain, Alain accidently caused his son’s plight. This is the type of writing that immediately grabs you, rips your heart out and doesn’t stop stomping on it: a masterpiece. Acting from Rodriguez is superbly aching. He wears the face of a man unable to carry on, but unable to give up. On-screen wife, the terrific Anne Coesens, plays her character as broken as a box of Christmas biscuits, but somehow she’s able to function, if only for her daughter’s sake. FINGERTIPS is on par with another heart-breaking short film called NORTH (2014) from director Phil Sheerin, which screened at the 2015 Cambridge Film Festival. Watching these as a double feature you’d run out of tissues within minutes. Vuillemin’s exquisite film, shot within only eight days, is a painful, tremendous watch.


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