AMPM short film review

★★★

Directed by: Thais DeMelo

Written by: Thais DeMelo

Starring: Natalia Garcez, Caio Graco

Film Review by: Jason Knight

AMPM is an experimental short film written, directed, edited and produced by Thais DeMelo. It stars Natalia Garcez and Caio Graco.


The main concept involves a young couple, Sharon (Garcez) and Thom (Graco) who are inside a room, smoking and drinking alcohol while sitting in front of an old fashioned television and appear to be affected in various ways by what they view on the screen. For instance at first the television shows old, black and white footage of ballet dancers performing, and Sharon proceeds to dance around the room, while Thom seems to be uninterested. Later the TV shows a variety of things, such as sections of advertisements, cartoons, news reports of people protesting, a missile launching into space and reality star Kim Kardashian giving an interview. While the couple are viewing these, they appear to be laughing and enjoying themselves.


The film has interesting uses of lighting techniques and the editing is quite skilful. Particular praise should be given in the section where the footage of the dancers is shown on the television. Several shots superimpose with one another, while classical music plays throughout and Sharon dances. The combined elements create a beautiful and interesting scene.


This is a motion picture that is open to interpretations. What the messages that the film is trying to present really depends on the viewer. Actor Graco makes a statement in a behind-the-scenes interview at the end that is worth taking under consideration. He mentions singer and actor Frank Sinatra and refers to him as a Mafia boss and President of the United States because he allegedly was connected to organised crime and he was passionately involved in politics. Graco then states: 'When you are an artist you can exceed all limits, ain't no barriers'. This could imply that although Sinatra was a performer, he got himself into other significant activities as well. Graco seems to mean that he could identify with him, in the sense that he is an artist too and can create whatever he chooses to without restrictions. And that is what he does in AMPM. He performs in a film that appears to let the audience decide what it is that they have just witnessed.


Although the camerawork sometimes appears a bit clumsy, generally AMPM clearly had a lot of passion put into it. Graco and Garcez both deliver believable and amusing performances and DeMelo brings a great deal of talent to the project. All these features accompanied with an entertaining soundtrack provide the audience with a pleasant and thoughtful experience.

#JasonKnight