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Close-Up: An Odyssey

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Sep 13, 2021

Film Reviews
Close-Up: An Odyssey
Directed by:
Nick Gatsby
Written by:
Skye Armenta, Nick Gatsby
Skye Armenta, Nick Gatsby

A surreal journey about a woman's quest to reach Mars.


Gatsby is a filmmaker who specializes in experimental and surreal narratives and this short is an example of this kind of creativity.


Storywise, this film is about a young woman named Lucy (Armenta), who seems to be under the influence of drugs and acquires the assistance of her dealer (Gatsby) in order to drive her to 'Mars', which appears to be her idyllic location. The story begins kind of like Trainspotting, with Lucy talking to the audience about going on a spiritual journey and then turns into Bonnie and Clyde as she and her dealer find themselves being pursued by the police after an armed robbery.


The cinematography is a feature that stands out. The decision to shoot in HD 8mm gives the film a dark and unearthly feeling. Reality seems to be mixed with fantasy (most notably a scene showing the two protagonists driving towards planet Mars) and the world gives the impression that it is shown through Lucy's eyes. There are interesting lighting effects, mesmerizing images and colours and the way they are placed into the image brings similarities to the techniques used in Natural Born Killers.


Without the apparent hallucinations from drugs, this would most likely provide a different experience. The fact that the entire film seems like a dream is probably its biggest strength and combines live-action with animation.


Armenta plays a person whose main purpose in life seems to be taking drugs. Constantly smiling, she appears not to have a care in the world. Gatsby is her drug dealer, who knows how to use a gun.


Watching this achievement is an amusing and surreal experience. The visuals are intriguing, the soundtrack is great and the editing is creative. The viewing will most likely make the audience feel that they are watching a dream rather than actual facts.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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