David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Short Films
"We Rise"
2 mins 38s
19 January 2017
UK Short Films

This short film follows a band as they travel to and prepare for a gig. But this is a band we - the population in general - would not expect to exist. Because of our prejudices, we tend to assume folk with learning disabilities and differences such as autism aren't capable of coming together in this way. 'We Rise' challenges this assumption with energy, skill, and consummate grace.

The seven-piece outfit - Delta 7 - from Eastbourne, East Sussex, write and perform all their own material. And their passion and enthusiasm for what they do inspired young filmmaker Rosie Baldwin to write a documentary script about them. Submitting it to the Picturehouse Members Film Competition, it beat stiff competition to win first prize - and, as a result, the script was turned into a two-and-a-half minute short produced by agency McCann London and production company Craft London.

McCann subsequently produced the band's debut single The Jungle to raise money for Culture Shift, which is the charity that brought the band members together in the first place.

McCann London CD Mike Oughton says "Delta 7 create a brilliantly atmospheric sound that reminds me of post-punk band, The Fall." He's right - they do. And let's hope they're in the vanguard of a new wave of inclusivism and visibility for people we have so shamefully considered 'less than' for so long. Just as we're finally starting to put aside our prejudices against the physically disabled, so we should value and respect people who have to battle the mainstream with such resilience and love for life.

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Short Films
"We Rise"
2 mins 38s
19 Jan 2017
This short film follows a band as they travel to and prepare for a gig. But this is a band we - the population in general - would not expect to exist. Because of our prejudices, we tend to assume folk with learning disabilities and differences such as autism aren't capable of coming together in this way. 'We Rise' challenges this assumption with energy, skill, and consummate grace.

Short Films
"State of Emergency"
5 mins 34s
17 Jan 2017
There is something so audacious about this film by Sebastien Petretti that you may be left unsure whether to laugh or cry but you'll nonetheless know you've seen something extraordinary. At its heart - in narrative terms - is a story being told by one young man to another. Keen to hear all the sordid details, the second young man urges him on with questions pressing for elaboration about the sexual encounter that may or may not have taken place.

Short Films
"2D Run"
5 mins 38s
17 Jan 2017
Here’s a film you just want to keep running and running and running. Bulgarian parkour artist Ilko Iliev turns the city streets into one endless assault course, sprinting and leaping over every barrier and gap. There are some breathtaking moments, not least a daring stroll down the side of the Buzludzha Monument. We can imagine various health and safety officials reaching for a glass of the hard stuff watching this.

Short Films
"Now You See It"
2 mins 40s
11 Jan 2017
As Joni Mitchell once sang: “You don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone’. This affecting short film from director Rebecca Manley and narrated by Ewan McGregor depicts the consequences of ignoring our planet’s woes. We see an orangutan’s home razed to the ground; a mountain of discarded toys dominates the horizon; and a paper globe is dissolved by an endless shower.

Short Films
"Morning After the Night Before"
43s
16 Dec 2016
The Mill have created a unique take on a Christmas film by focusing on the aftermath of a dinner party which didn't quite go to plan. The raucous shindig is shown in flashback as the camera slowly pans down the animated table of remains, placid tweeting of the dawn chorus interrupted by corks popping (and... pants and cats?!) until we reach the snoozing partier at the end - bottle still in hand. Truly the most wonderful time of the year... for hangover cures.

Short Films
"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
7 mins 59s
12 Dec 2016
Anomaly’s Christmas film offers a modern twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Have you ever considered the practicalities of receiving a partridge in a pear tree? Oh, and everything else that follows? Spare a thought for this ‘lucky’ woman. The protagonist (superbly voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) charts the time her supposed “true love” went overboard in the generosity department.

Short Films
"Alice, Adelaide"
19 mins 35s
7 Dec 2016
This lyrical and intriguing short film was shot over the course of the eleven days it took to drive from Alice Springs to Adelaide in Northern Australia. The contrast between past and present becomes the main focus as stories emerge out of the stark landscape. The man who's been sober for four weeks, the Aboriginal man who feels caught between cultures, the ageing lothario opal miner - the camera gives them all space to relate their own narrative in a way that's affecting in its honesty.

Short Films
"Messiah"
6 mins 38s
29 Nov 2016
What would happen if Jesus popped up in the contemporary world - would people believe he was the messiah... or just a very naughty boy? Anthony Dickenson's short film is firmly in the latter camp: if Jesus woke up in Hackney, he'd quickly find out things have changed quite a bit since his day.

Short Films
"Like My Selfie"
14 mins
25 Nov 2016
Since 'selfie' was crowned 2013's Word of the Year, how many selfies do you reckon have been taken? Well, it's more than you shake a selfie stick at. Dark Energy's Dave Aspinall examines the rise of this photographic subgenre and whether it's due for a fall. Even if you've never taken a selfie before in your life, Aspinall's film is a timely reflection on our image-obsessed culture.

Short Films
"Born A Believer"
11 mins 30s
24 Nov 2016
Gritty shots of urban London set the scene for 'Born A Believer', Darius Norowzian’s powerful short film about a community boxing club which rehabilitates ex-offenders and former gang members. The young men in this film are articulate and honest about their situation and feelings, and that authenticity really makes the film shine.

Short Films
"On Sunday"
6 mins 56s
23 Nov 2016
This sci-fi short from writer and director David Lea reminds us that the extraordinary is never too far away. A man rouses himself from his armchair to walk the dog. He seems lost in his own thoughts, but what he witnesses is enough to make him drop his pipe in awe. After all, how often do you see an alien spacecraft rise from the seabed?

Short Films
"Clowns"
4 mins 06s
18 Nov 2016
Trust Cardinal Burns to see the funny side of the creepy clown craze. Coulrophobes may want to turn away, but for everyone else, this dark comedy reveals the root cause behind the phenomenon: geezers need excitement. What begins as a typical night on the prowl - anywhere but Hemel Hempstead - quickly turns into something from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Short Films
"King Lear Act 2 Scene IV"
4 mins 46s
15 Nov 2016
Colonel Blimp’s journey through Shakespeare’s tragedies continues with Billy Lumby’s take on King Lear. The setting is updated to a nursing home, but the language stays the same. Forget castle walls and royal quarters; Act II Scene 4 now unfolds in dull corridors and unwelcoming social areas.

Short Films
"The Call of Charlie (trailer)"
73s
15 Nov 2016
A couple set their friends Charlie and Maureen up on a blind date that turns into a dinner party when another couple drop by unexpectedly. We barely get a glimpse of Charlie in this trailer for the horror short, but the reactions of other characters are enough to clue us in that he doesn't just sound like a '20000 leagues under the kraken or whatever the fuck' monster, he looks like one too.

Short Films
"Unsatisfying"
77s
4 Nov 2016
This surprisingly satisfying short film turns frustration into an art form. It's a compilation of thwarted ambition: as Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ plays in the background, we witness moments of minor disappointment that somehow feel like crushing defeats... a vending machine refusing to give up the goods; a basketball dancing around the hoop; a firework failing to launch.

Short Films
"Martine"
65s
1 Nov 2016
Stephen Mead's one minute short film focusing on Martine Lervik is a beautifully shot exploration of appearance. Martine tells us about how her independent hair has a mind of its own, managing to bring a touch of warmth and humour to the script with her delivery. Her hair might be 'Hollywood on a good day and Cricklewood on a bad day', but she mostly swishes it about impressively here.

Short Films
"Cooked"
3 mins 51s
15 Oct 2016
Nowness presents another provocative film from their 'Define Beauty' series. Director James Lees splices together two of modern society's most popular pastimes: cookery shows and tanning. While an especially eager host slathers poultry in oil and fawns over a steak, a woman is trapped in an 80s infomercial for the SunGuest 2000. As his commentary reaches fever pitch, her salon session turns into a UV nightmare.

Short Films
"The Dog and the Elephant"
24 mins 36s
13 Oct 2016
Man and beast collide in this captivating solo performance. Adapted from the stage play of the same name, this monochrome confessional introduces us to bare-knuckle fighter Bendigo Barlow (Jack Johns) - a man of pure muscle in an impure world. Barlow relates his bruised upbringing before meeting an exotic member of the animal kingdom.

Short Films
"Synergy"
65s
29 Sep 2016
This clever little film from animation specialists Treat Studios takes whale watching into the iPad age. We see various instruments and doodahs being primed for something, but what? A motion rig springs into life creating a flash of an aquatic creature, while a top-down view suggests rocky terrain. In one serene moment, the elements blend together to create a whale swimming in mid-air, gliding above an endless seabed.

Short Films
"The Good Mother"
5 mins 36s
29 Sep 2016
This charming short film from director Sarah Clift should appeal to anyone who's fancied giving Donald Trump a thwack with a wooden stick during the US presidential election. That'll be a large audience, then. Away from the television debates, all-holds-barred chat show appearances, and Twitter controversies is this tale of a mother and her son in Mexico.

Short Films
"Point and Shoot"
6 mins 15s
27 Sep 2016
The lengths we’ll endure to achieve perfection inspire this clever crime thriller with performance issues. Two robbers spend more time discussing the ideal pre-heist pep talk than actually raiding any vaults. As it turns out, these two are simply method actors trying (and failing) to ‘become’ hardened criminals. Enter a gun-toting Donald Sutherland to give the pair a real frightener… or is it just an acting masterclass?

Short Films
"The Sprint King"
12 mins 10s
8 Sep 2016
Ben Ducker’s directorial bow packs a lot of punches into its portrait of gutsy jockey Dandy Nicholls, with the Yorkshireman’s journey from bare-knuckle brawls to flat racing glory demonstrating that the 'Sport of Kings' takes no prisoners. It’s a stark insight into the make-up of a jockey, both mentally and physically, and one which benefits from some cinematic verve.

Short Films
"Night Dancing (trailer)"
66s
7 Sep 2016
This trailer for RSA director Barney Cokeliss's 'Night Dancing' suggests plenty of intrigue ahead of the short film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. A man is transfixed by a woman dancing in the street outside his house, yet he cannot be sure if she is real, or merely a figment of his imagination. Psychological drama with elegant visuals furnishing the mystery.

Short Films
"Wasteland"
3 mins 20s
5 Sep 2016
This atmospheric short film from director Laurie Lynch examines post-apocalypse loss in lyrical fashion. Deep in the woods, a fragile community aims to make this emaciated world their own by hunting and foraging. For one survivor, existence is made all the more difficult by the death of a loved one - and the landscape provides painful reminders at every turn.

Short Films
"Johanna Under the Ice"
3 mins 47s
4 Sep 2016
Having recovered from a biking accident thanks to cold water therapy, Johanna Nordblad embraced what lies below the icy surface by becoming a world record-holding freediver. This entrancing profile from director Ian Derry captures both the alien beauty of an Arctic lake and the human desire to stay in control. As Nordblad relates her story, Derry immerses the viewer above and below the surface.

1-25 of 222 Results

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.