Directed by Henry Stephens Starring Hayam DK, Marta Royles, Farai Chirimuuta Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Many film genres have flourished and developed, gained cult followings to admiration from the masses, yet one of these has gently slipped into obscurity over the years, and that is of course silent film.
Ask even your most movie obsessed friend the last time he or she indulged in a ‘’silent movie binge’’ and even they are most likely come up short with an answer.
We are living in a culture where the general movie going public will roll their eyes and sigh at the thought of having to sit through a film with subtitles let alone an entire silent movie, and it is because of this that this genre in particular has become somewhat obsolete.
Yet they do still exist, like a rare gem they can be excavated from the rubble of mass consumption films and held up in anachronistic glory, and filmmaker Henry Stephens has allowed us to do just that.
Last In First Out was the winner of the Direct short online film festival, and with good cause, it follows the story of a young woman at the peak of her career, enjoying the spoils of her success and feeling rather chipper about life in general, when suddenly it is all taken away due to the hard hitting recession and the inevitable poverty and stresses that come with unemployment.
She struggles to come to terms with her loss until a happy go lucky stranger raises her spirits with the simplicity of human interaction.
This movie fill us with hope, dashes it and builds it all back up again in the space of 7 minutes, Stephens achieves this with very little written narration, but by using excellent direction of his actors, ensuring they display the ever so slightly over the top gestures and expression so commonly associated with silent films of the past with effortless timing.
As an audience we are able to connect with the lead role, feeling her range of emotions with ease, be they positive or negative, which is admiral considering that silent films are not Stephens bread and butter.
For any lover of the silent age of cinema this is a must, Stephens pays homage to the genre, be it through the style, the direction or the music, he has recreated the style but successfully brought it to the modern audience by using a topic that the general public can relate to, let us hope this is not the last we see of Stephens silent film endeavours.