Directed by: #PaulPeters
Written by: Paul Peters
Starring: Paul Peters
Well, the central question to Paul Peter’s short film Why is it so Cold? is never directly answered but I’m going to assume it would have something to do with the nonsensical and overly pretentious experience of trying to make sense from any of it. Peter’s film leaves the audience completely frigid as Lynchian backwards speak, tarot cards and random clips of “South Carolina” scenery that could just be anywhere has no tangible artistic or narrative cohesion. Barely running at two minutes, you have no idea what any of what you have just watched means as Peters vision for his film is to apply meaning to nothing as his attempts to make the film have “depth” or seem “artistic” completely fall flat.
With only one credit at the end of the film and lack of IMDB page, I’m assuming that Paul Peters is the sole craftsman of the piece using what appears to be a smartphone to capture these mundane shots. The opening narration tries to give that impression of introspection but there’s nothing for anyone to sink their teeth into. Perhaps Why is it so Cold? Is exploring disassociation or mental illness but Peters shot composition and use of surreal elements are so banal it comes across as hollow sincerity. That the strange speech patterns and tarot cards are just there to make the film seem “artsy” rather than any thematic connection. Shots of empty swings or candid footage of a squirrel invoke nothing like Peters is trying to show the beauty in life’s small spaces but is just filming his backyard and adding a strange voiceover. I am unfamiliar with Tarot card imagery and lore, the specific cards Peters draw could be the key to unlock the hidden meaning but it is highly unlikely. Just like every other piece, the cards feel more like overbearing desperate “arthouse” ploy to make the film seem intelligent or spiritual when the opposite effect is achieved and just makes it all the more off-putting.
The film is extremely low budget but that’s not the issue, it’s that there is nothing to grasp on to, it is a physical struggle to write about this film because it is just a void with nothing inside. Peters direction and voiceover seem wants to tap into our subconscious and have the audience question something but if Peters had a deeper intention to any of this it is never made apparent. The film is short, boring, uneventful and feels like a literal blink and you’ll miss it, there is nothing to gain nor nothing to lose from Why is it so Cold? It just nothing, a creation of no consequence that cannot create any form of artistic response.