Directed by: #BaastianRook
Written by: #MartijnDaamen
I can breathe a sigh of relief, cool calming oxygen fills my lungs as I remember, this feeling, that moment, the pleasure that comes from being truly engrossed, moved, affected by a movie...it’s been a while kids, and I goddamn missed it.
Radio is dead right? Didn’t video kill it or some garbage like that? Well if that’s the case why do people keep making annoying covers on radio 1’s live lounge that I have to be aware of? And if that’s the case, how come the leading man of Baastian Rook’s short film, On Air is being harassed during his DJ slot?
On Air follows Brian, a clearly troubled man, who skipped being a rock star cliché [the drugs, the drink, the leather jackets] and just became the DJ cliché, which involves all the same things just with a smaller paycheck.
He skulks around the station being a total badass, he threatens his co workers in the corridor...what a badass, he gets on the air, being rude and cold to his audience...what a badass, and can nothing tame this beast? I hear you cry, it seems not until a certain caller takes centre stage.
He has the upper hand on our super cool flannel wearing radio DJ [yup...flannel, he digs the grunge era clearly], phone caller dude is standing next to his sleeping mother [who knew the mother was badass Brian’s weakness...what is he, Norman Bates?]. He is gonna hurt mommy dearest, unless Brian confesses...but to what? Only Brian knows and only he has the chance to spare his mother’s life.
On Air makes character development look effortless; you hate Brian to start with, and then you feel every ounce of his pain and frustration, you get in the first carriage of the roller coaster and strap yourself in, we are opened to this not just through a quality script, but by his actions, his movements, his surroundings, great attention to detail has gone into creating a bleak and desperate looking environment for Brian to be miserable, it’s cold, it’s uninviting...basically it’s no trip to the Bahamas being Brian.
Music plays an important role within this short, I mean they are working at a radio station, what did you expect? But it’s not the most important factor of the piece, music is used sparingly right until the very end, when the short is coming to its climatic ending, this employment of holding out to the very end, creates for quite an intense and powerful moment in the movie. Rook is giving us everything, but nothing all at the same time...for you see On Air leaves us on a cliffhanger.
Well directed, well acted, amazing script, excellent visuals, it’s hard to find fault here, and guess what, I’m not going to, mainly because this is an enjoyable piece of cinema but also because it made me jump to the edge of my seat, get engaged, get excited and it’s been far too long since I remembered why I love films.