'NO SLEEP AT WORK'
- Directed by Mate Holdosi -
The audiences of 2016 have been influenced and marked dramatically in what they expect from a movie being made today after watching the fast paced, intricately plotted films produced in the last 10-20 years in international cinematography. The eye of the contemporary viewer is extremely sharp, quick and avid of newness. For those who long for a bit of 'old school romance' the message needs to have substance and the story, feeling, or else the denouement needs to be surprising. Obvious routes would be: either sheer honesty or elegant sophistication.
We salute the intention of this movie to take us into the psyche of a young man. However, given the unclear cut between 'reality' and 'dream', this short film seems to be more about 'day dreaming' than 'sleeping' at work. We could look at it as a surrealist piece. The choice in terms of edit however is not convincing enough that this was the intention the director himself had.
The quality of the images is nice which makes this piece watchable. The Director of Photography took clean long shots supported by soft lighting looking to create perhaps a surrealist feel to the piece.
In itself a delicate choice, the easily recognisable theme of a poor chap working a small job and dreaming of the woman he wants but seems not to be able to reach out to is treated one-dimensionally. This creates a flimsy feel to this short film which we believe is not what the film deserves given the effort and thinking that went into producing it.
We see a passive guy (albeit even in his dream!) and find it difficult to sympathize with him given the lack of action or indeed a 'want' past his desire. Sex is one of the main drives in life but it is a very hard topic to focus on in a 3 minute film as it stands a huge chance to create a shallow world if not carefully treated. Unfortunatelly, we do not see a guy falling in love or struggling to overcome a barrier (external or internal) but a guy who works in an awkward place (is he a receptionist or an accountant?) and sometimes stops to interact with the lady in his daydream. There is no arc for the main character, little structure to the story and no surprises or turning points.
The one and only piece of dialogue lacks subtitles which makes it frustrating to watch. Is the dialogue not relevant enough to require translation? In which case why bother having it? Leaving your audience at bay for want of meaning and depth is a mistake. It is after all the only time in the film we hear the two people interact directly by use of language.
There is no clear delineation between dream and reality in this short film which takes away from the clarity the mind needs in order to follow the plot and events on screen.
The waiting for something meaningful and perhaps surprising to happen leads to the disappointment of being provided with nothing of the sort.
All in all, we would have liked to see a less cliche-istic view on desire and daydreaming.
The moment when the workplace becomes a disco full of women gives a voyeuristic feel to this piece. This risks taking the viewer into the shallow, pornographic genre, which is fine if this was the intended outcome of this piece. This short film might have worked better perhaps as a music video given the lightness in the treatment of the subject. The gradual increase of the musical scores with the culmination of a short club music passage towards the end makes this film have an experimental feel to it. We encourage the style and hope to see deeper more facetted versions of it in future projects.
© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest,
Images provided by Stephen Brace and Jason Hargrove,
have not been altered and are used in compliance with CC License.