Make Thick My Blood – A Review

August 26, 2011

Wishing Well Visuals – production
Cinematographer – Cameron Dunlop
Producer – Josh Hammond
Director – Josh Beattie / Ennui Pictures
Sound Design – Josh Beattie / Ennui Pictures

Official Entry for 2011 Origin8 Fast Film Competition. Winner: Best Cinematography (Ben Cotgrove), Best Sound Design (Joshua Beattie) and Best Performance (Jade Paskins).

Every murder puts ‘me’ centre stage.  Whether it’s force majeure, or a crime of passion; politically expedient or just having fun: murder is an act of narcissism.  A rival ego gets snuffed out.  Like dousing a light, so you can see the dark.  Murder devours.  The great difficulty, after, is how you live with yourself.  Most people can’t countenance themselves as killers.  So the impulse turns, becomes an urge to forget.  It’s rational, of course, to disbelieve nightmares.  We renounce what we consider defiled… unless we can’t; unless we feel guilt.  Josh Beattie’s short film, Make Thick My Blood, is about the trap of conscience.  A murderer can walk, or shamble, from a crime scene.  But the act of killing cuts through denial.

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Portrait – A Review

August 18, 2011

Cartoons are true to what the artist sees, not the subject.  Think about it: did your family look the way you drew them when you were five?  Lurid exaggeration comes naturally, for some reason.  In school, there’s always one kid drawing something rude.  Gay Telese wrote a story about the actor Peter O’Toole once, where a young O’Toole drew a penis on a picture of a horse, and defended himself (unsuccessfully) from opprobrium, by saying: “I was only drawing what I saw!”  The urge to break taboos is stronger in artists.  As Shaun Ladd and Tony Cook’s short documentary, Portrait, shows: cartoonist Ben Jennings is a proud addition to the line of pen and ink provocateurs.  His sketches are tumescent with daring.

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Dandelion – A Review

August 12, 2011

All kids are savages, playing counting coup with the world.  Civilisation abuts them from all sides, yet somehow, they keep their wildness untouched.  Being half-formed is a big help.  They don’t get moulded until they’re in their teens.  Before that, before clothes and sex start to matter, they might as well live out in the fields.  There’s a ruggedness that comes with not caring what you look like; a pygmy stoicism about scrapes and cuts.  Ill-mannered, uncouth, gauche in the extreme; kids aren’t cut out for domesticity.  They chafe at etiquette because it goes too slow.  Kids are driven by impulse.  In Jaro Minne’s new short film, Dandelion, two boys pass the time in volatile idleness.  Roughhousing, for them, is a kind of idyll.

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