- Directed by Aimie Willemse -
This short film explores through the means of contemporary dance the duality of a human personality.
Control is a cinematic experiment that uses music and dance as a form of expression and though it lacks any other type of action or dialogue, it has a comprehensible story. A woman fights her “dark side”, possibly representing depression, a side that is controlling and violent and leaves the other half drained of energy.
While a variety of film genres tackled the theme of the often overlooked mental illness called depression, this film defines the struggle with a single word – control - and suggests with a compelling choreography the tough fight for regaining it. It is a simple and effective representation, the dark side summing up human negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and anger. The ending is ingenious: out of her own internal struggle, the woman finds herself out in the real world and takes flight leaving her negative side behind.
The dancers are very expressive, from eyes to toes and have a good chemistry: they show their game of power using movement, but also attitude. Their job is even harder in the presence of the movie camera. While music and dance complete each other because one is audible and other visible, dance and film must compromise to make a good team, as the rigid eye of the camera limits the working space of the exalted dancers. That is why the flexibility of the camera must maximize, while the visibility of its movements must minimize in order to masterfully follow the dancers. In this particular case, the filmmakers try to obtain some iconic images and sometimes the camera suddenly takes distance and disrupts the experience of the viewer.
The theater stage with its specific lighting is not the most fortunate of choices because it reduces the dramatic effect of the movements. Another technical issue is the overexposure of the outdoor shots.
In conclusion, “Control” is a short film with a thought-provoking theme. The narrative shines a light on the capabilities of a bright director, but the overall execution would have benefited from more consideration given to the technical aspects.