Expanding on the one-minute? Carlo Perassi picks his 5 @ Filminute 2017

Still from ‘Goat’ by Boğaç Uzun

As we move on to looking at different ways of expanding the impact of the winning films each year, we discuss the opportunities that lie behind the development of these one-minutes into features or even series. We have invited Carlo Perassi, long-time reviewer of the Filminute selection and author of the Short and Tweet series (which can be followed at @karlok on Twitter every Filminute season) to share with us 5 of his choices for development, together with his reasoning behind the choices. We now hand it over to Carlo.

GOAT

by Boğaç Uzun

This short is so powerful, clear and exact that it’s hard to focus on a single question for an in-depth analysis, so I straight out asked the director if he was considering a longer version of the film, even mildly related to this short. (*Please notice how in his wording the noun of the people he is talking about is never used so I won’t name his country at all.) He replied that in fact, GOAT is a small sequence of a scene from a 15 minute script. We’ve been discussing the positioning of the film’s main topic as a subtext — that says a lot about the freedom of speech in his country, with the script telling the story of a people who have been deterritorialized and silenced. The director supposes that a feature version of this short won’t pass the censorship screen in his country. Moreover, he correctly points out how cinema is mostly “a different form of masculine power.” So, here we have a young, sensible and sharp director looking to explore issues regarding freedom, human rights and gender equality.

Filminute correctly notes how GOAT effortlessly demonstrates that language can become a means of control and oppression, resonating with anyone who has to navigate between fitting in and suppressing what comes naturally.

Feature or Series?

I really hope GOAT will be a feature, even if he has to make it happen using a different and more free country.

INDIGO

by Ignacio F. Rod​ó

Ghosts of beloved persons is a classical subject, yet good directors always find new ways in which to surprise the audience: Ignacio Rod​ó is not new to the one-minute thriller sub-genre since his short “TUCK ME IN” won Best Filminute honors at Filminute 2014 and generated millions of views. “INDIGO” holds the consistency of his earlier film, but this time the subtext is larger and warmer for both characters.

I think it’s great how the director got such a good result using frugal devices: a clear sign of mastery. The close-up with the out of focus is one example of this mastery and I asked the director to tell me more about the adult actor and his work within this specific shot. He told me that he wanted to talk about the fear of what we see, and how — like the young boy says — we should be more afraid of what we don’t see. This being the film’s primary message, he went on to reinforce it with a visual tool: rack focusing from the nurse to behind the nurse was a good cue to make the audience realize there was something there and the nurse could feel it. It clearly also emphasizes the nurse’s feelings; if the audience didn’t get that feeling, they can certainly grasp how he’s confused and afraid of the unknown, empathising with the character.

Regarding the actor who plays the nurse, he’s a well known theater actor in Barcelona and for years he and the director were talking about working together. So, when the director wrote the screenplay, he immediately thought of him because of his dexterity with subtleties, little gestures, and his powerful gaze.

Feature or Series?

Even though a series might be seen as a natural choice, I think that a feature would be appropriate for this subject.

A SHARE OF A SHARE

by Kaveh Jahed

There are two ways of approaching this admirable one-minute with the best title in the whole of 2017 Filminute edition. The first one, perfectly legit, is to read — probably according to its author’s will — a deeply human, sincere moment of a refugee life, with nothing to hide, using a realistic long take in this tiny space. It’s almost impossible to watch it without being touched by the relationship of the family members and by the silently terrible human shadows outside the tent, by how the child avoids his father curving his back or by the fate of the puppy, while outside, careless congested roads continue their flow.

The second approach is to stop hiding for a moment from ourselves the unavoidable yet forthcoming fate of humankind: Earth is a depleted planet overpopulated by hyper predators close to forgetting civilization and humanity itself, like the shadows outside the tent, ready to feed themselves without the last taboos, without some sort of light in their eyes.

Feature or Series?

I would say that a feature film definitely has to be produced to expand on this subject.

HER BIRTHDAY PRESENT

by Răzvan Dü

Dü was the author of a very strong silent in 2016: now he’s eclectically back with a chatty and visually stunning short. Its cartoonish effect adds a punk-poppish ironic melancholy to the film’s atmosphere, enriching the story and making its fast dialogue more natural and fun.

I asked the director how he ended up applying these strong filters to the frames. According to him, initially the film wasn’t meant to have this look. He told me that they used a real, projected street in the background but that he wasn’t satisfied with its aspect so therefore went on to try all kinds of solutions to make it better and through this search discovered the cartoon-like effect. Then, after some editing changes, he eventually found a more valuable result. It’s a classic tale on the well known quote: “When you make a movie you make three: the one you write, the one you shoot, and the one you edit.”.

Feature or Series?

A series would be innovative, fast, fun and very challenging to write.

CROOKED

by Tudor Botezatu

This short film has the best cinematography of the 2017 Filminute edition: it has the quality of a good indie feature which is pretty rare for a documentary. I don’t know where the director got the idea of telling this story but it’s a very effective way of describing this elderly couple’s relationship. The husband only speaks one short sentence but it’s about a weakness of the chicken and that’s enough for his wife to immediately contravene and correct his statement: for the rest, his expression is deadpan, as Filminute correctly notes. Is it a perfect resolution to the conflict? There is clearly some kind of projection between the woman and the misshapen animal: is it about the shape of her beak and the left arm of her adoptive mother? I could see a subplot between those things. Anyhow, in the haze of this countryside, the fate of each character disappears in the pace of a wide, silent landscape.

Feature or Series?

A series of short documentary of this kind would be a brave and universal format.

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