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Sharon 66 short film review


Written and directed by: Jordan Tetewsky and Joshua Pikovsky

Starring: Benjy Mello-Klein, Jeremy Wise, Avram Tetewsky


Two men are seen from a distance walking in the dark alongside a large building between the streetlights.
Still from Sharon 66

There's a lot to unpick in Jordan Tetewsky and Joshua Pikovsky's short, Sharon 66 but not an awful lot to hang onto to try and do that. In the brief ten minute runtime we are introduced to three almost nameless characters and are served a healthy dose of small town Americana, all of which seem faintly familiar and strangely reminiscent of some long-ago life we may all have lived. It's hard to pinpoint though, just where our feelings for the nostalgia evoked by this short film truly lie, as there is essentially not an awful lot going on.

Our main character, who is name-checked once in passing, is Benjy (Mello-Klein) who seems to spend his time between his two only pals, Avram (Tetewsky) – an elderly gentleman who he sells drugs to, and Jeremy (Wise) – who he pretends to play music with. Both are also only name-checked once in passing and we only get to see their faces close-up briefly later on in the film. There seems to be a deliberate distance placed between the viewer and the characters as we watch them wander the streets and hills of their lonely, small American town, discussing the banalities of everyday life.

There is no plot to speak of and the characters wander aimlessly as they riff off of their future dreams, which are the same as their past dreams, and which seem to constitute their whole understanding of existence in small town America. In this, Sharon 66 plays to the same gallery as Richard Linklater's 'Before' Trilogy where philosophising while walking is the order of the day and in-depth dialogue is used as a substitute for drama.

There seems to be some sort of thematic reach for a discussion of the 'good life' or that of a 'true life' being lived for one's self, perhaps also harking back to a simpler time, or even just an earlier time, where somehow opportunities were missed and can now only be reflected upon. This also seems, however, to get lost in the soft-focus of it all, a deliberate fog of weed smoke that fills the air to offer an ethereal view of the proceedings, enhancing the distance between the characters and the viewer.

The music provided by Holeminer (also Mello-Klein) beautifully captures this nostalgic distance as it intersperses the scenes and the dialogue, building a soft home-town feel to the proceedings. There is a definite parallel here between Sharon 66 and Beautiful Girls (1996), or even Grosse Point Blank (1997), where there lies this longing for things that have passed and a hope for reclamation or redemption in the present.

All in all though, Sharon 66 doesn't offer enough in terms of access to the viewer. In trying to keep its nostalgic distance, which is essential to its theme and feel, it forgets to provide leads and ways in to its characters or its setting. There's no hint at what Sharon 66 pertains to (although Google confirms it to be the name of the small town) and there's no promise of an arc for the characters. As a short, piecemeal introduction it works well enough and the technical aspects of the film-making are truly accomplished, however it only feels like a small part of a bigger whole rather than a complete stand alone piece.

It could be that this was what the film-makers were aiming to achieve all along, however the distance placed between them, their film, and the audience means we'll never really know.



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