Directed by: Louie Denniston Starring: Michael Burhan Scott, Danny Stewart, Danielle Howard, Aneta Pioprowska and Louie Denniston Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Don’t you hate it when you’re out of the loop, people are off bowling or going to tanning beds and you’re not? You remain pale, unable to score a strike and impress hot chicks, it sucks, well I can imagine that’s what it must be like to be in prison.
This is where our leading man Jason [played by Michael Burhan Scott] is in life, fresh from the cast iron gates of her majesty’s judicial system, he begins to visit his old haunts, desperately trying to put his life back together after a three year absence. But things are not all he hoped for, he has lost all he once cared for, his lady love, his friends and quite quickly his sanity. What a drain that must be.
The audience watch helplessly on the side as he falls in and out of memories of the night he got arrested, of what was and what could of been, all along as he struggles to keep a grip on his reality, his surroundings.
A Long Time Gone as a short film brings a powerful sense of reality to Jason’s nervous breakdown, and this is due to the use of excellent camera work from director Louie Denniston, where the up close and personal shots are claustrophobic and intense, you’re right there face to face with his demise, and secondly to the performance of Burhan Scott, who plays the role in a way that is transfixing, compelling and bang on the money.
His paranoia spirals out of control as he is plagued by visions of committing violent acts, and who here has not been guiltily of that, maybe not giving a good stabbing to everyone we know but when outside of the group we all become victim to our own sense of self doubt, imagining what is going on without us, how they are having more fun while we are alone.
This is captured beautifully in this short film, for the main narrative is his paranoia of what has happened while he served time, his mental anguish is a bi product of these thoughts and the flashback and flashforward sequences that drive this piece also drive the ever-present sense of feeling incomplete, which is crushing the central character’s mental health.
This film lived up to its reputation [people seem to dig it on the short film circuit] and I agree, with a complimentary soundtrack, powerful performances from all involved and slick directing style I give A Long Time Gone two thumbs way up.