Directed by Celine Cotran Starring Sharon Drain, Fiona Dolman, Kate Lassman Long Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Loss sucks, grief is a minefield of emotions, and no one knows how they are going to respond to the death of a loved one, no wonder so many artists, musicians and filmmakers alike have explore this subject time and time again.
After Eights (and no this short film has nothing to do with those fancy mint candies, which made me a bit sad) is the story of Helen (played by Fiona Dolman), who discovers her mother's ashes stored in a biscuit tin in her brother's home.
Outraged at her brother's lack of compassion, she picks up her daughter (played by Kate Lassman Long) from school and heads straight for the cemetery, where she digs a hole next to her already dead father's grave so that her parents can be together again.
After Eights is a perfect example of simplicity triumphing over the more flashy and gimmicky filmmaking styles of Hollywood, Celine Cotran keeps camera angles and stylistic shots to a minimum, which surprisingly serves well in this piece, accompanied with an equally simple soundtrack, this short develops a style and grace all of its own.
Long, who plays our stroppy teenage girl provides a well thought-out and impressive performance, capturing the self-centred nature of the teenager with a realistic ease, caught up in her own little world, she is oblivious to the need her mother has to conduct a more respectful burial for her mother-s biscuit tin loving ashes.
Dolman as well is flawless as the frantic Helen, who is in the middle of being a mother herself as well as doing the right thing as a daughter, she also is able to bring a lightness to the role which gives this short its quirky British style that sees the funny side in even the most macabre of subjects.
After Eights is a short film that offers up a interesting insight into grief, seeing it through the eyes of several family members as well as generations, as each character learns about the legacies left by others in the wake of their deaths, a subject often overlooked by filmmakers when tackling the subject of loss. Offering up a gentle and rather comedic approach to this sombre subject.