The world is full of magical things that wait for our senses to grow sharper. That's an old saying I once heard that almost immediately popped into my mind as I watched this very short film from Bruce Nicholson. Magical beings both innocent and guilty of things most adult minds can't even begin to understand. But youth is another story altogether. Youth have the capacity to embark on adventures our jaded adult minds can only witness through the occasional blurry dream or within deep states of meditation. The innocence of youth and presence of evil - something "A Brief Encounter" plays with as it dances its way across your screen.
In the film, a bored young man goes off to search his surroundings for adventure as his mother, presumably, relaxes by herself during a nice overcast day. On his adventure, the young man encounters a trio of fantastic dancers, and I use the term fantastic in a duo way - the young man also rubs shoulders with something a little more sinister - although only briefly. "A Brief Encounter" is just what it states it is - a brief encounter. A magical glimpse at what could be hiding just outside of our field of view. Or within the imagination of youth.
I mean, what can I say? "A Brief Encounter" isn't your typical short film, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable for me. In a lot of ways, Bruce Nicholson's five-minute adventure was unique and refreshing. I didn't need to worry about characters or an over-stuffed plot arc - I was simply there for the ride—a welcome break from reality for a few short minutes. The dancers were fantastic, and I truly enjoyed their graceful motions with that golden, fantastical effect and the playful background score. Everything felt the way I imagine it was designed to feel, and honestly? I would have no problems watching it again.
"A Brief Encounter" isn't your typical short film and is instead designed to add an extra layer to a classicly styled dance number. It's delightful, for lack of a better descriptor, and I not only enjoyed watching it - but appreciated Nicholson's approach to art in general. Should you get the opportunity, I highly recommend - three and a half stars.