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Compassion - Short film review

Updated: Aug 18, 2021


Directed by: #JeffCorpening


This Anthology of three short films has similar themes and narratives to that of Black Mirror, featuring short punchy ideas that could be interpreted as surreal horror/drama. It’s fair to say that most criticism is formulated as an overall view of all films as a collective.

Firstly, the premises of each short seems well formulated and creative offering a new perspective to situations as well as surreal twists to everyday scenarios. Not only are they short and to-the-point, but they also achieve an understandable narrative in doing so.

The motion of physical drama is poorly executed lacking a natural flow. This tends to lead to a cheesy performance. The performances throughout the majority of shorts are mediocre and stale and yet with such an ensemble of cast members, it distracts you from pointing out any particular weak performances. This could be due to bad directing or in being such snappy films, the actors found it difficult to understand their characters in such a short script. The cinematography is satisfactory, but the vignette ruins the first act. The colour of cinematography is adequate throughout, however some selections of shots chosen feel amateur and unnatural. This could be down to the pace of editing or simply because the directing of photography lacks creativity. Locations have been chosen well and carefully, aiding the production designers in immersing their audiences into the narrative world.

The sound design is inconsistent having many moments of poor execution from onset recording to post-production editing. This usually comes from an obvious ruffle of clothing or sound levels becoming un-even. This can be evident in all three parts, some worse than others. The pace of editing is sometimes slow and unnecessary but mostly clean and well finished. If improved, the edit could furthermore exaggerate the performance and suspense within the mise en scene. Some animation is detailed and yet unrealistic. Such style would be more suited to that of a video game.

Although the overall consensus of this anthology of short films appears to be amateur and poorly executed, that isn’t to say there aren’t some good takeaways from these productions. A particular favourite of mine is (what I call) the time travelling theatre actress. Now this short has the most potential not only for its unique premise and good performances, but also because the editing style throughout shows the creative spark that is possibly missing from some of the other shorts. The way the sound designers blend the diegetic sound of violin with the soundtrack is a great example of their potential in filmmaking. In addition, the hooked man scene in part 2 also show quality in in stunt directing while using VFX.

These films have lots of potential stemming from very creative scripts while the quality of filmmaking is clearly improving over all three parts and over time. I look forward to seeing what Jeff Corpening et al strive for next


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