Simple Mind (2012) {Short Film Review & Drinking Game}

By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Simple Mind is a short film submitted to us for review.  Since it’s only 7 and a half minutes long, instead of the inevitably dry plot synopsis, I recommend you give it a watch:

It takes more than just a camera, a long weekend, and a couple of friends to make a movie.  With that said, a film can be made under exactly those conditions.  This paradox is resolved simply by how the camera, friends, and the time is used.

Writer/Director Phil Newsom and Editor/Cameraman Paul Nameck certainly didn’t have much in the way of resources, but they had a story to tell and a clear vision of how to tell it.  Each shot is deliberately paced to heighten dramatic tension, and you can tell that a lot of care came into camera placement and focus.  The art of filmmaking is in creating images which tell a story, and they accomplished that.

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 6.46.34 PM

Without any words, this image says a) that the narrator is socially awkward. b) that he’s interested in the girl. c) that he loves those slippers.

While the lighting can appear washed out, this was clearly more of a technology problem than one of the filmmaker’s choosing. (Digital cameras still have a long way to go in figuring out how the sun works)  The audio is also spotty at times, but that is nothing a boom microphone wouldn’t fix next time around.  These are quibbles which factor little when the other filmmaking aspects are used so well.

Actor Timothy J. Cox should particularly be commended, as he manages to create a wonderfully demented character in a third of the screen time as the credit reel for Marvel’s the Avengers.

shawarma

15 minutes of technical credits = 15 seconds of footage from the craft service table

Mr. Cox depicts the various sides to his character flawlessly, evoking deviousness and cruelty which gives way to pity and profound sadness.  There were moments in the film where his character reminded me of Robin William’s desperate store clerk in One Hour Photo, where you could detect traces of humanity, twisted by the madness of being alone.  I am looking forward to hearing about other projects from this filmmaking team.

Verdict

2beers

A solid little short film, with impressive acting and dynamic camerawork.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every shot of the slippers

Do a Shot: for the epic (if inevitable) plot twist

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they’re confused about something) at least a few times a week. I’ve gotten way off track here… The point is, Oberst is one of the website’s founders, so… yeah

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