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Timespan - Short Film

Directed by Alex Brock

Starring Christie-Luke Jones

“Need for Speed”

Review by Chris Olson

A silent short film from director Alex Brock, starring Christ-Luke Jones as a guinea pig on a medical trial, where the drug’s side-effects cause the world to slow right down because the patient’s heartbeat is going so ridiculously fast.

This is something we have all dreamed about. The chance to slow down time to the point that people are barely moving, so that we could catch up on our reading, get some extra sleep or play silly pranks like pulling down people’s pants. Anyone who has seen the film Limitless (2011) starring Bradley Cooper, has at least revelled in the fantasy of a new, unlimited world opened up by mind-bending drugs. The idea that the human mind could achieve so much sin if only it could be fully explored is pretty commonplace.

Timespan’s protagonist (Jones), though, takes a far more sensible approach and tries to find a cure for his terrifying ailment, which is much more credible than this reviewer’s strange dreamings. Mr Jones makes, literally, quick work of discovering an antidote to his problem, but it is a solution which carries its own, reverse issues…

Full of thoughtful framing and stylish set-pieces, Alex Brock serves up a quick but tasty treat for fans of short films. Like a flash in the pan, the story bursts through strong themes about the nature of time and existence, delivering superbly on our own inherent fear about expiring, and the rate at which we do so. There is a great moment when we see several frivolous activities, such as throwing something in the bin or chucking a cigarette out of a car window, which, added with the tense and dramatic sound editing, is delivered like a knock-out action sequence - it is almost as if our lives could be a Bad Boys movie, if only we’d let it!

There is an element of what-could-have-been with this short film. The premise is really strong and the counterpart to the latter end of the movie is brilliant, but it felt like more could have been done to explore a world that has slowed down. Rather than jump so quickly to the antidote sequence, it would have been nice to flesh out Mr Jones and the variety of ways he could explore the experience.

That being said, there is an urgency to Timespan that is well appreciated. Sequences have a sharpness to them that is effective, and the score has a delectable moodiness and tension to it that compensates for the lack of dialogue.

Timespan is the sort of short movie that will have you daydreaming long after viewing. Whether that be how you would cope with such a terrifying experience, or how you would exploit it for massive personal gain.


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