Updated: Mar 29
Directed by: #LiekeBezemer
Written by: #LiekeBezemer
Lieke Bezemer’s abstract approach to cinematic emotion is driven and elegant in all manners of the word. With an obvious motivation to express an invisible trauma, this poetic short uses a well written narration whilst actively using the natural visual stimulus of a snowstorm stricken plain to evoke its audience. The perfectly matched dialogue to imagery reflects the melancholy horrors of memory while offering a peaceful resilience within the landscape.
The passionately performed voice over seems to offer up the emotional aftermath of a traumatic un-forgiving event force upon a drunken-17-year-old girl. An event which although not directly outlined, emotionally clear as day. Much like the filmmakers of ‘ECHO’, I will not dwell on what I believe happened in the event which triggered such a masterpiece. All I will say is this. The strong message behind this piece is that the consequence of yours or someone else’s action although, short lived, will leave an invisible scar which some might say, will ‘ECHO’ for a lifetime. Although I may be wrong with my assumption, the magic success of this film can be its power to open up interpretations, especially those of a dark and powerful nature.
Nick Tuckers cinematography is simplistic and excellent in being so. With the stunning scenery, the job is half done but the photography team accomplish the perfect capture of said scenery. White textures can often be hard to capture effectively, especially those on a large scale, so what the ‘ECHO’ team have accomplished is entirely impressive. They contrast the canvas white snow to the black of crows and the blue of water succeeding in hitting the right colour tones for a bleak cold atmosphere.
Tyas van den Bergh's sound design is a perfected craft with the winds gentle howl introducing the calm white plains of north Japan. Sounds of settling snow and the creaking of trees slowly draws the viewer into the real harsh environment to be spat out again by the intense snarls of breath from beasts sending us on a whirlwind of emotions.
The pace of the piece if very fitting and well executed by editor Eric Van Der Bijl. The calm before the storm best describes the transition from peace to chaos as the traumatisation of the narrator and director is clearly emphasised through fast and sharp cutting of the natural crashing of babbling brooks and a murder of crows. Standing at 6 minutes serves this piece well, any longer would overcompensate the intentions of the filmmaker’s message, any shorter would leave a certain absence of satisfaction to an audience.
Overall, with all elements considered there are little to no faults with this film. If I were to be extremely picky, which I am, I would mention that the only fault in my eyes would be the white subtitles upon a prominently white frame. This only occasionally becomes an issue, however on a second or third watch becomes no issue at all. Many congratulations to the ‘ECHO’ crew on achieving a very well-formed film and I have no doubt that this film will or has accomplished much on its festival run. I look forward to more innovative projects from the filmmakers.