Written and Directed by Rachel Stephens
Starring Daisy Burns
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
We have all acted in a way that upon reflection makes us wonder who we were at that time, something so out of character that it seems to not be us, that we have lost a part of our selves within our actions. This is the powerful subject of Rachel Stephens’s short film Losing Face.
We see our leading lady (Daisy Burns) enter a bar, where she quickly realises that all the other customers around her have no facial features...creepy I can assure you.
She runs and hides in the bathroom where she decides to call an old friend, maybe an ex lover [wouldn’t be my first choice of person to call in a crisis, but whatever floats your boat] and begins to apologize for her past actions, actions that were out of character, actions that made her question who she really is.
Through this exploration into herself on the phone as well as addressing her reflection in the mirror she begins to scrub away at her own face until she becomes just another featureless customer in the bar she first came into.
Shot in black and white with a rich art house directing style, short film Losing Face is an exploration into the human condition, delving into the inner turmoils that we face when looking back over our past mistakes in life.
Shot predominantly in the bathroom, Stephens creates a sense of being trapped and isolated from this location, the central character must battle her demons alone, with no comfort from her bleak and unappealing surroundings nor other people, the audience is able to be fully immersed in her mental state.
Daisy Burns carries this film throughout and her confident presence in front of the camera allows for the narrative to be clear and intriguing. We are invested in her journey, in the storyline, as well as the metaphorical message that Losing Face has to offer.
This is a powerful and interesting short, and although art house film is not always for everyone, it certainly has a message that can be followed by any audience member; the balance between approachable and artistic is in proportion which is something that some directors of this style often lose, and so speaks favourable for Stephens and her skills behind the camera.
Direct, thought-provoking and visually intriguing Losing Face is an interesting addition to the art house genre.