Directed by Gregory Dunn Starring Lars Nyberg
Short film review by Chris Olson
Crisp and flavoured with peculiarity, Gregory Dunn’s short film Toasted gets lukewarm with a character study of an eccentric toaster collector, whose collection of toasting appliances from around the world has made him a local celebrity in Sweden’s Uttersberg.
The modern kitchen is lost without a sturdy toaster. Sure you could grill your bread like a chump, or fry it if you shamelessly abuse your arteries, but the majority of us want our bread toasted in a matter of minutes using the traditional appliance. Without checking, it is probably safe to assume that 99% of toaster owners only have one toaster. The collection on display in this short film is as eclectic as its filmmaking.
Dotted with exterior shots of random scenes, and an obscure score from Eavan Aiken which ranges from beautifully atmospheric to utterly confounding, Dunn’s movie is one of abstract elements and coalescing themes. Lars’ bumbling behaviour is complemented by the aesthetic of the filming, creating an overall tone which will probably divide audiences. There are ideas to take away if one should choose; such as the delicacy of routine or the haphazard nature of life’s timing, but most audiences will probably take away images of a lot of toasters…and probably craving a bit of sliced white and some jam.
There is a stark tempo change during one sequence of the film, which is bolstered by Aiken’s score, that is particularly dramatic, and given the mundane nature of the elements on screen, it creates an uneasy feeling for the audience as it suggests a chaos which is unexpected and unrelenting.
Showcasing at the Cork Film Festival, Toasted maintains a solid cinematography with vibrant visuals of landscape and interior workings. There is a sleek fluidity to Dunn’s piece that captures some intriguing features without drooping from the weight of structure or plot. That being said, it’s a short film that makes its point so succinctly that the viewer is left with little more than crumbs by the end in terms of lasting effect.