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The Bookclub - Short Film Review


Written & Directed by: #EwanGrant

Still from The Bookclub

A homeless man runs a bookclub during a quarantine.

Shot entirely on iPhone during one of the lockdowns over the summer last year, Ewan Grant’s conceptual film follows a homeless man who decides to start a bookclub to share in the joys of reading. Escapism at its finest; The Bookclub, though made with an obviously low budget (probably none whatsoever), manages to capture the kindness of people, united through hard times. There’s really nothing more pleasing in a film than simple concepts being explored and captured with the limited equipment at hand.

Grant’s focus on the man as he ventures around an eerily desolate neighbourhood is sharp and straightforward. Supported by a slight colour correction and with music by Callum Grant, The Bookclub is a subtle and delightfully charming look at the “little people” in a big world. With a relaxed tone throughout, the filmmaking also takes the liberty of feeling pretty laid back (with a couple continuity errors, though nothing so bad). There’s nothing but feel-good vibes from beginning to end, with each stop of the journey seeing people leave food and drink with their book for the homeless man to collect (they place a sign on their window for book trading).

The Bookclub isn’t going to provide you with much content for thought or discussion, but it does gently remind you that there is some good in the world, and sometimes it’s right under our noses. Sure, this is a fictional story, but it wouldn’t surprise me if something like this were actually happening during the lockdowns in 2020. Where we’re all so glued to our screens and caught up in news headlines, it’s often nice to see people coming together. It’s like a change of scenery, and of pace. There have been a fair few films created during the COVID pandemic, but this is one that actually implements it into the film, making it a little more relatable.

While it must be said that there isn’t much going on in The Bookclub, sometimes nothing else is required. It comes down to the creators; if they’re good storytellers, there will be little issue for an audience to find connection. This short plays out as casually as it would if it were real. There’s a “fly on the wall” feel to it, and it just works. The Bookclub is a simple film, and it’s quite pleasant.



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