Andy is struggling to deal with the loss
of his wife while at the same time forced to give up his vintage shop. He is pushed to take drastic action, only to get killed absurdly.
Written By: Filippos Vokotopoulos
Directed By: Filippos Vokotopoulos
Another indie film that looks and sounds great! That's the bottom line when writing about "Unattended Item" from writer/director Filippos Vokotopoulos. This is a short film that would look right at home, if it were broadcast on your favorite station, giving off very few hints that it were an indie, low budget production. I've said it once and I'll say it again. Indie film has come such a long way over the last few years, and it's quickly blurring the line that is studio Vs. independent productions. With all that goodness however comes a problem... the raised bar. Many indie productions that were well regarded a few years back simply don't... can't... stack up anymore. Visually, "Unattended Item" is one of those titles that is elevating the expectations of indie film. That's great news for Mr. Vokotopoulos, but means more work for everyone else. For us, the viewers... it's a win-win situation.
It's safe to write that "Unattended Item" is not a ground-breaking concept. We've seen variations of this story before and we'll surely see them again. Where this flick does shine is in the execution. It's slick enough to feel like a "fresh" take on common subject matter, and put together well enough that we simply don't care that we've seen this story before in one form or another. The gravy on the potatoes comes from the cast, who play their respective roles beautifully. Yes folks, the acting here is quite good from all the actors, gelling this short film and ensuring an entertaining finished product. This is all held together with an edit that actually pushes the narrative forward, instead of one designed to hide flaws. Which is another art form altogether.
Close to the end, there were a few segments that did, in fact, scream independent film. I personally see a lot of this with new(ish) filmmakers as they come into their own. It's the use of transitions, namely the multiple uses of the "fade to black" within a short time frame. To be blunt... it looks awkward when used in sets, close together. In the case of "Unattended Item", I was completely ripped out of the world Filippos Vokotopoulos had worked so hard to create. All due to the transitions. Luckily, this was at the very end of the film, and hardly even worth mentioning. So why did I bring it up? Simply to point it out. Transitions, especially fades can be tricky to master. If nobody bothers to mention it... well, you get the idea.
In the end, "Unattended Item", save the very unoriginal name, is a well done, polished piece of indie film. The excellent casting choices, and attention to visual detail have come together to form a highly entertaining 13 minutes. I expect this short film to do well with it's festival run and beyond. For you, the reader, I would recommend you connect with this film and when the chance comes... watch it for yourself. Filippos Vokotopoulos is letting us all know that indie doesn't mean crap, and I look forward to seeing what he has in store for us at a later date.
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