Written and Directed by Bernard Kordieh
Starring Aaron Fontaine, Antony Acheampong, Sophie Khan Levy
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
Dreamlike, mesmeric, and with a touch of nightmarishness, Bernard Kordieh's short film Squares takes a masterful approach to deliver his philosophical musings, following a character who is embroiled by his past.
Told using a non-linear narrative, we see Noah (Aaron Fontaine) navigate different parts of his life in small, sharp snapshots that get pieced together erratically and dramatically. Numerous scenes are shown with Star (Sophie Khan Levy), from their romantic introductions and initial courting, to their developing relationship and perhaps something more sombre. It becomes evident that Noah is completely struggling with his memories and place in the world, regularly getting anxious or irate, something which a hooded stranger (Antony Acheampong) may hold the answer to.
Completely enveloping, Squares is a short film that successfully combines artistic filmmaking with a purposeful and engaging storyline that carries thematic heft. Kordieh lets the story unravel with a degree of controlled chaos, allowing the emotions and gravitas to explode on screen spectacularly. Be revisiting sequences numerous times, laying repeated dialogue over them, and including an ethereal sound design (by Niko Metten), the overall atmosphere becomes something divine-like. Audiences will seep into the movie rather than the other way around.
Fontaine delivers a strong performance in the central role. It was wonderful to see him explore the troubling intensity of his character through passionate dialogue and expressive body language, in particular his waywardness as Noah travels across the city. Acheampong was excellent as the mystical man from the tower block. A clever sequence of him walking down the street and catching the eye of a small girl was well executed. Offering up the short film's happier scenes, Khan Levy turns in some breathtaking moments as Noah's obsession, such as a sequence on the beach, or outside an amusement arcade, where the two are engrossed by their love for each other. I also particularly enjoyed a moment with the two of them on the train which was reminiscent of Michael Fassbender's scene in Shame, without the leering.
The ideas that get explored in Squares are weighty and compelling. One of the notions that gets delivered several times is being in the right place at the wrong time. This leant massive amounts of introspection to the piece, making the storyline and characters all the more interesting. Another engaging thought that punctuated several times was perspective. By going back numerous times to the same shot and/or sequence, in a way that is not repetitive or boring, the audience becomes so overwhelmed by the visual storytelling that they can help but ponder the alternative meaning behind them.
A thrilling and intelligent short film with wonderful filmmaking and performances.
Watch the official Movie Trailer for short film Squares below...