Directed by Stanislava Buevich
Starring Lucy Bailey
Short Film Review By Michael Fiott
Stanislava Buevich writes and directs this short film, Book vs an Antiquarian, that proves to be more of a treat for the eyes then it is for our wish for desirable storytelling given the confines of its short length. It begins with the titular antiquarian sprucing up her library of ancient antiques and books when she suddenly hears the cry of a woman in need. Understandably she is intrigued by this and discovers the source of the noise is coming from one of her oldest books, which she then attempts to forcefully open to a rather mystical outcome.
What must be stated about Book vs an Antiquarian first and foremost is its absolutely wonderful set. Everything on display completely shows Buevich’s vision from the odd taxidermy models to the rich red’s used throughout that. Whilst this is the most obvious use in the colour palette the editing and colour correction makes excellent use of blues and purples to create a genuinely warm and saturated feeling through its length.
It is also very confined which makes the camera a slave to using close ups for the most part which results in us picking up on even the most minute detail; from the skeletal models and diagrams to even the smallest case of seashells, there is always something interesting for the audience to look at, which is incredibly impressive for the amount of effort and dedication.
Unlike the use of colour of verbose setting, the dialogue is very much scarce in this piece which is not to its detriment as its plot only needed the key word of “help” for it to kick start, we are also guided by the modest performance of Lucy Bailey whose facial expressions served well to communicate her confusion about the whole situation. The quirky and lackadaisical beat from the music also invites us into its underlying comedic tone.
With all of these positives comes the most irksome quality to the film which does hamper the audience's overall enjoyment, the lack of depth in the plot. After all of the events take place there is a general conclusion that the audience understandably feels of underwhelming confusion and listlessness. This can be cured by a number of things, mainly the length of the film, there is truly not enough time given in the build-up for it to justify its cryptic ending, which is a true shame given the potential it would have had as a lighthearted and quirky comedy.