DIRECTOR(S): NEIL HORNER WRITER(S): ALLEN BEEVER, NEIL HORNER | CAST:VINCENT REGAN, ROGER ASHTON-GRIFFITHS, ROBERT CAVANAH
Two hitmen become the subject of a sadistic game after waking up in the back of a truck, drugged and confused. – Raindance.org
Ultimately impressively shot, composed and acted, AB Negative has all the ingredients of how to shoot film on a micro-budget, and do it relatively well. However it falls short of being truly unique and brilliant due to plot holes and banal dialogue. What it does do, is remind the audience of Britain’s stronghold in this particular genre by clearly drawing on familiar traits; Neil Horner is clearly a fan of British gangster films; AB Negative is like an ode to them and good one at that. His next film will probably be stronger in all aspects, when he finds his own voice in one of the most successful and deceptively linear genres in British film industry. I wish him all the best.
MIKE (Short film)
DIR: PETROS SILVESTROS WRITER(S): AJ RILEY | CAST: LUCIAN CHARLES COLLIER, LOUISE BRECKON-RICHARDS, STEPHEN GUY DALTRY
Mike, a sulky teenager has to do a boring job – to take his little brother Jack to the hairdresser. Waiting for him in the car, Mike starts to get worried when Jack takes too long to return so he decides to go and look for him. – raindance.org
8 minutes of watching Mike, was satisfying(-ly) unsatisfying. The beauty and difficulty of a short is capturing so much in little time, all whilst attempting to engage the audience and convey a precise emotion that feature films have the luxury of exploring and dissecting over 100 minutes more. The beginning, middle and the end have to be concise and yet clarity within two or three minutes given to each act is a must. Mike does all of this. You’ll want to see more and it could, if intended by the filmmakers, be stretched out to a full length indie. It’s a beautifully realised film (thanks to Nikos Andritsakis handy work) under the eerie bluish-grey tones easily equated to the supernatural, death and a sort of twilight zone. It’s also still. Smooth tracking shots, but mostly clean, single point-and-shoot simplicity.
But then, perhaps it wouldn’t be nearly as devastating. The themes of sudden loss and haunting social commentary on the reality of human fragility and existence; taking loved ones for granted; society’s compartmentalising of those suffering from mental illnesses and failure to recognise those who are suffering under our noses, is all so fleeting, but the consequences are lasting. It’s no surprise that it’s been picked up for numerous festivals and awarded justly.
Lucian Charles Collier is a fantastic young British talent. His impressively natural and instantly likable on-screen approach, as the titular character, is reminiscent of fast-rising Brit star Jack O’Connell.
OFFICIAL SELECTION OF 22nd RAINDANCE 2014