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Fatale short film review


Directed by: Seth Magana

Written by: Seth Magana

Starring: Brenna Jones, Jason Lee Boyson

Still Image from Fatale showing protagonist.
Still Image from Fatale

A film noir. An unusual father-and-daughter reunion.

A young, attractive woman works as a sex worker in Hollywood, during the late forties. After she has finished with a customer, a man shoots his way inside her room. He is her father and he wants to take her with him, back home. She refuses.

This short has many elements often seen in film noir: a femme fatale, dark mood, menace, murder, crime, music from the forties.

The actors portray rather intriguing characters. The woman appears cool, confident and knows what she wants. She smokes a lot and has decorated her bedroom mirror with pictures of movie stars, indicating that her dream is to become a movie star herself. Her father proves to be a rather dangerous individual, after having gunned a man down. His appearance shows that he has gotten himself into some nasty situations, as his face is covered in bruises and plasters. Despite of all this, he seems to truly care about his daughter. Unfortunately, the two of them do not have a very joyful past.

A sequence that deserves particular attention and is quite impressive takes place when the woman looks at herself in the mirror. The screen enters windowboxing mode and on the left and right sides of the image, two other images appear, which show actors in scenes from famous films of that era. With the addition of the forties score, this part gives a glimpse of the magic of film noir and hints that she wants to be a film star.

The mise-en-scene brings the audience back to the forties, almost like a time machine. The entire story takes place inside the woman's room, which is filled with furniture of that era, such as the telephone, magazines and photos of movie stars. The clothing accurately matches the fashion of those years and so does the woman's hairstyle. Special mention goes to Daniela Viduarre, who does a great job with the makeup and hair.

The stylized opening titles and closing credits were created to resemble forties films, and they do so very accurately, giving the impression that they were actually made then. The lighting and cinematography give the film a dark, film noir feeling.

The music is one of the film's best aspects. It consists of songs from that time and throughout the film, a radio broadcast is heard, sounding like it is from the forties.

Fatale is a very interesting piece of work with great acting, that pays homage to the film noir movies.




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