Sunday, 18 November 2012

FOR, WORDS – A Review by Paul Worts

“And I’m old, I’m older than you, but I still find the time to be stupid and crude”

Winner of the First International Misty Moon Film festival, this short (4mins 47secs) film is either: a glossily poetic depiction of dementia; the most artistic commercial for life insurance ever made; or a genuinely affecting and succinct evocation of a life-long love with a nod to the opening from Pixar’s ‘UP’.  All in all I think I’ll choose the latter interpretation.

Written, produced and directed by Julia Lowe and David Hayes, For, Words is a film which gently waltzes in perfect harmony to the Keston Cobblers’ Club song of the same name.
The film opens with two music-box figurines dancing entwined. We are then introduced to an elderly couple – the lady sits at a table with her back to the camera whilst her (presumed) husband shuffles towards her with a slightly tottering tea-tray. We are not shown either of the couple’s faces, although there is a framed black and white photograph on the table of a school-age boy and girl. As the tea is poured we see a small note by the cup with the name ‘Charles’ handwritten in feint pencil. So far so cosy.

But preconceived expectations are then literally dismantled before our eyes. The photograph is torn down the middle – parting the monochrome young couple. A wall-framed ‘Home Sweet Home’ embroidered motto is taken down off the wall; a telephone is unplugged and a toilet cover is unscrewed. Scissors cut through tartan cloth and cricketing paraphernalia is strewn across a garden fence. A montage of carefully crafted shots of mundane minutiae being disassembled and reused to build some kind of abstract outdoor structure build in tantalising glimpses. Just as the ‘reveal’ appears imminent we cut to a flashback sequence where we see the origins of the note when it is passed to ‘Charles’ behind teachers back in class. Images of the schoolgirl and boy featured in the photo show our young explorers trying out rudimentary space helmets fashioned from colanders and spoons on a summer lawn before they turn and pose for the aforementioned photo.
As the content of the note is revealed, so is the finished construction. Young dreams realised, our explorers dance against a backdrop of a bric-a-brac space rocket and a smoking fuse of rope and matches.             

For, Words is a perfect fusion of song and images, an evocative visual carousel which lingers long in the mind and reaps rewards with repeated viewings.  


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