Written by: #RobertDesanti
Starring: #RobertDesanti, #SuzanneSavoy
After another rejection letter, neurotic writer Gregory Archambault (Desanti) struggles to commit suicide due to dissatisfaction with his own suicide note.
The Epilogue of Gregory Archambault (2021) is a short dark comedy which depicts opposing forces of an artist’s aspirations and passions against the detached marketplace, which very often fails to understand expressionistic work sent to them. The film has received critical acclaim, winning six awards as well as receiving two nominations. Director, writer and star Robert Desanti’s bold take on an arguably taboo subject matter of a male artist’s mental health and suicidal thoughts is what makes this short so powerful and thought-provoking.
Our opening long shot of a lone cabin in the woods at dusk already sets up our isolated and weary protagonist, Gregory Archambault, played with an energetic, intense flair by Desanti. The short exhibits fluid camerawork and impeccable cinematography, with a nice shot early on tilting the camera up as we see Gregory leave his desk to grab a gun from his loft with the intention of committing suicide. The filmmaking is very immersive with many extreme close-ups inviting us to become part of Gregory’s writing world and his deep personal struggles with his craft.
The overall concept of the film is admirable and bound to be relatable for anyone who identifies as a creative individual or an artist, as Gregory is constantly berating himself to improve his writing after facing constant rejection from the outside world. Geoff Ryan’s sound design is very effective in capturing Gregory’s critical inner voice, which is a treat for the ears if viewed through headphones. Anyone with a passion for creativity will know what it is like to face rejection on a daily basis and many often feel misunderstood or misrepresented, with Gregory acting as an exaggerated embodiment of these insecurities as he struggles to find appreciation for his hard work.
Desanti provides a very well realised combination of dark humour and touching drama in such a short space of time. The quirky fun of the film, which is just under fifteen minutes, comes with the dramatic irony of Gregory delaying his suicide attempt due to being dissatisfied with his suicidal note and his writing in general, which led to him wanting to take his own life in the first place. It is oddly satisfying to see this unfold onscreen; again, this seemingly endless spiral of creative misery authentically captures the universal struggles of artists everywhere. Gregory is eventually called by his mother as it is his birthday, which leads to a touching conversation where she appears to know exactly where his headspace is even as he tries to mask it and this connection with his mother causes him to reconsider his decisions for a moment. The final scene also hammers its thought provoking commentary home very effectively and will ensure you do not leave the film unsatisfied.
The Epilogue of Gregory Archambault is a delightful short with an inspirational and comforting message about the complexities of being an artist. With a perfect blend of dark comedy and poignant drama, as well as a passionate performance by its lead, this movie is a must see for aspiring creators.
The Epilogue of Gregory Archambault (2021) trailer: