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Emotion short film review


Directed by: Philip Brocklehurst

Starring: P.M. Thomas

Still image from Emotion showing protagonist.
Still image from Emotion

The human face can make a vast number of expressions, many of which indicate the person's emotions.

The film begins with a white screen, in the middle of which the title is shown in black letters. It then cuts to a medium closeup of a man, who is motionless, looking directly into the camera and right behind him is a white wall. His face shows no emotion. It then cuts to the same shot, only now the man is smiling and there is music, which sounds gentle and uplifting. The next shot shows him with and angry expression on his face and showing his teeth and the music is now tense and powerful. Then he is shown looking sad, the music now poignant. Then it cuts to an extreme closeup of his neutral lips, without music. The same three shots of happiness, anger and sadness follow continually and in the same order, each with their own score, the differences being that the editing is quicker and after happiness, there is an extreme closeup of his lips smiling, being angry and sad. After the sad lips appear, only three shots are used for a while, those being happiness, anger, sadness and in that order. They appear again and again, faster and faster, until they reach such a speed that it gives the illusion that the character's face is moving. Then the fast cutting proceeds to slow down, until the film ends where it started: with the expressionless face.

The film consists of two types of shots: the medium closeups of the face and the extreme closeups of the lips. The editing is very creative, making interesting uses of fast cutting, creating speed and tension.

The man is the only person in the film and there are no spoken words. The use of music is rather fascinating, as it is different for each expression and matches the feeling the expression it accompanies shows, including when the lips are seen. By having a different score for each expression, the film indicates that this is how one feels on the inside, when they show that particular expression. It is rather clever that when the man is expressionless and the expressionless lips are shown, that there is an absence of music, suggesting that if one feels nothing, then there is emptiness around them.

Thomas delivers a silent and good performance, as he shows the expressions and gives the impression that this is what he would look like if he was really experiencing those emotions.

The film starts of slowly and gently and then, thanks to well-constructed fast cutting, the viewing experience becomes intense and dynamic and then it gradually returns back to neutral. As the editing becomes faster and faster, it also has interesting effects on the sound of the score, making it a bit awkward, but at the same time enjoyable.

This short is less than two minutes long and during that time it presents a lot of creativity with the editing and music. It shows that some emotions can be quite different and that they can all come from the same person. This piece of work is worthy of praise and recognition.



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