Directed by: #SpencerAnderson
Written by: Spencer Anderson
The romanticism of war is a familiar topic for audiences who have been gifted many stories of love existing within conflicts. Battlefields in distant lands, aside from creating harrowing violence and sorrow, also create that all-consuming romantic device - long distance relationships. In filmmaker Spencer Anderson's short film, Fallen, this long distance gets stretched through time as well as miles, allowing for an absorbing and achingly tender story of love.
Based on the recollections of Gilbert Bradley, a soldier, the title Fallen has a double meaning. On the one hand referring to the tragic demise of all those who fell in WWII and on the other hand falling in love.
The events surrounding Bradley’s romance have become semi-legendary and Anderson’s movie explores them with gorgeous cinematic effect. Sequences of fireworks, breaking waves on the shore, and blazing bonfires create a tumultuous atmosphere that is incredibly engaging whilst the love story that spans multiple decades plays out in non-linear fashion. The limited dialogue and explosive visuals create a movie experience that is more visceral and emotional than a traditional narrative might have been.
The use of an overvoice reading the words of Bradley is brilliantly delivered by Zachary Coleman, whose informal yet emotive tone revels in the tenderness of it all. His words have the devastating effect of combining the assortment of visuals the audience is witnessing into a tapestry of loss, love, and life that is utterly heartbreaking. The performances from Coleman, Michael Watts, David McCann, and Oliver McDermid-Perring are all weighty, lending gravitas to the story in each scene and allowing this tale to be brought to life with convincing and affecting results.
As with some of the best #shortfilms, in particular those who attempt to tell war dramas, this movie felt like a tease of something more substantial to come. A feature length is without question necessary and viewers may feel that Fallen is more of a movie trailer than a narrative piece of cinema. That being said, it is undeniable that Anderson turns in something that is remarkable and profound. If the story of Gilbert Bradley was going to be told, it needed to be from a filmmaker who understood (and could depict) the delicate balance of light and dark, love and loss, fighting and fear, and with Anderson this story is in safe hands.
Watch the official teaser movie trailer below.