75/100 (2012, 31 min)
Plot: A young woman dives into increasingly destructive behavior after witnessing a traumatic event.
Director: Alex Withrow
Writer: Alex Withrow
Stars: Catherine Warner, Martin McSweeney and Andrew Kirkley
Earrings is directorial debut from Alex Withrow, very good writer and passionate movie fan. You can see many influences here, in his haunting short film, but one that particularly stands out is the influence by Steve McQueen's Shame - we observe a character having a breakdown, the reasons for which are for most part unknown to us. We see their daily routine, we see the camera follow them and ultimately we see them being consumed by despair.And we want to know - why? What could have possibly happened to make them live - or either stay alive without the desire to live - like this?
The style of the film while it is an asset when it comes to keeping the mystery also proves to be a problem at times - there is very little dialogue in the movie so we don't really know much, also one of the best way to know the character is by seeing how she/he interacts with others. There is only one conversation in this movie and while the dialogue was good the acting, especially by Martin McSweeney, didn't convince me at all. In the effect, the scene that is somewhat a centerpiece and the deepest you will see into this woman character through someone else's eyes fails.By contrast in Shame we could witness an actual relationship between two people, here we simply witness young woman being depressed, walking around, drinking, doing drugs.
The structure the movie has is very interesting - it's uncompromising in showing as the girl's actions, there are no cuts when the cliche would be to use them (that fails only in numerous scenes where she is brushing her teeth which I thought brought nothing to the film and was needlessly long) and the reason for that woman's suffering is something that keeps us guessing. The ending is quite charming, though I thought it would be much better if we never saw the person she sees and just saw the smile on her face.
Earrings has flaws but its admirable effort and I'll definitely see it again just to marvel at its beauty. I'll be very interested to see what Alex Withrow's future projects will be.
You can watch the film HERE.
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