A father and son who've never met, meet
up for coffee.
Written By: Joe Mcclean
Directed By: Joe McClean
Joe McClean takes us through rough tides with his short film Strangers. For me, watching this couldn't have come at a better time for maximum emotional impact. Personal issues aside though, Strangers seems to hit the nail right on the head! It masterfully plays on the notion that sometimes no answers can be better than the right ones.
The best way to describe Strangers is by asking you to envision a moment in time where every possible scenario is a bad one. Add to that the feeling that a task is something that must be done or you'll go insane. Wrap it all up, hope it holds and throw it out into the world. That's Joe McClean's short film Strangers in a nutshell. The real treat is that because of the expert pacing and acting, the overall polish to Strangers allows it to play smoothly and in a very entertaining way. By the end of the film I realized that any real attempt at answers in this film would have taken something away from the it, leaving the story feeling lame. The real beauty of Strangers is that sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut than fabricate an excuse for the camera. It works wonders here both as a wrap up to the plot and to the characters themselves.
On the technical and creative side Strangers presents as a near flawless production. A textbook case on what should be done when making a film. There's no experimentation here. No sweeping shots, quick edits or fancy camera work. Just the basic Film Making 101 experience. Well... Not quite. The thing about film making is that in order to make it look that easy, and give it that textbook feel... you have to know what you're doing. So maybe Strangers isn't as basic as one might think. I tend to think that the experience of the film maker and his crew bleed through, giving us that 'easy as pie' look. The real magic of film making comes from the film makers ability to look easy and natural. It's also my opinion that in the case of Strangers, any real huge sweeps or fast edits would not have worked. Strangers screams to look normal. It's part of what makes this short so endearing.
As I touched up on earlier, the cast also do an amazing job. Each character plays off the other with an uncomfortable grace that seems totally natural and vastly awkward. Let's just say it's a perfectly uncomfortable experience caught on camera and leave it at that. Excellent job guys. You nailed your performances!
Strangers is damn near perfect. I could nit-pick at a few things but I think I'd rather just say I loved the film! Film lovers both hard core and casual alike will love this little addition to the short film world. When it's available it's worth looking up and easily earned my humble 4/5.
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