Directed by: Maxamillian Hofgartner
Written by: Maxamillian Hofgartner
The tragedy of a relationship breakup given an obscure and non-linear approach from #filmmaker Maxamillian Hofgartner with his short film In the Midst of it All. The central character's heartache is explored through flashbacks, dream sequences, and a looming sense of peril.
Hofgartner plays Tom, a taciturn fella whose unenthusiastic movements through life are indicative of his split with girlfriend Victoria (a splendid Isabella Stevenson-Olds - who I recently saw in Alien Hunter Nerf War). As his despair mounts he begins to form a narrative of events by revisiting moments he had with Victoria, either attempting to relive those golden moments or for some other harrowing purpose. Rejecting the help of his friends (Kieran Gabbitus and Dwayne Thompson), Tom looks to be on a course for self destruction.
Adopting the less is more approach to #storytelling Hofgartner proves himself to be a tour de force of filmmaking. His short movie is incredibly clever and nuanced, allowing the emotional soaking of his central character to do the heavy lifting. Sequences are tightly filmed with a hazy feel that doesn't alienate the audience, instead amalgamating them with Tom's suffering in a very visceral way. Certain scenes were absolutely mind-blowing, such as the camera trying to keep up with Tom as he runs off into the night, or the tender-cum-nightmarish filming of Tom and Victoria in bed together.
The performances are brilliant, aside from a little blip with the dialogue (see later in this movie review). Hofgartner as the lead was riddled with a palpable anguish that was utterly compelling. Stevenson-Olds was completely captivating too. Her physical portrayal was really moving and almost ghost-like. The supporting performances were solid, allowing plenty of room for the leads to explore their tumultuous relationships.
Some of the dialogue was a little amateurish. A row between the lovers was quite hackneyed, which is a shame because Hofgartner later used silence over a montage which was far more powerful. Viewers could happily immerse themselves in the poignant visuals Hofgartner can deliver and rely only on the excellent sound design from Christopher Rooney.
The storyline was reminiscent of numerous fractured plots from other movies, whereby the audience is asked to piece together the full story. What sets In the Midst of it All apart from the crowd is the sheer dominating atmosphere that is created.
Ferociously intimate and personal filmmaking from an exceptional storyteller, In the Midst of it All is a stunning short film and a huge billboard for the future talents of Hofgartner in the world of cinema.
Watch the official movie trailer below.