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average rating is 1 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Dec 23, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Christien Bart-Gittens
Written by:
Stefano Guerriero, Christien Bart-Gittens



Okay, so I suppose we’d better get this out of the way right at the beginning – Dispute is not a film. It is at best a fight-scene, and at worst a pointless fight-scene that isn’t even any good. Clocking in at just one minute and eighteen seconds, including credits, Dispute is described by its film-makers as a ‘micro short fight film’, but it’s not, it’s just a fight scene, one scene in which two guys fight, and that’s it.


So, without any introduction we immediately find that two guys, Stefano Guerriero and Christien Bart-Gittens who aren’t even worthy enough to have been given any character names, are out in the dark of the woods in the middle of the night having a go at one another. There’s no time or forethought to provide any sort of story, meaning that there’s no explanation as to why these two anonymous combatants might be trying to knock lumps out of each other, so we’ve just got to get on with it and try to be happy in the fact that there’s a fight going on.


The fighting itself is fairly decent as both guys have a bit of back and forth trying to get the best of each other. There’s a few decent flurries and flourishes from the fight choreography to mix it up a little and for a fight-scene as part of a bigger film it could probably pass, as long as the audience didn’t pay too close attention to what’s going on. On its own though, and with nothing else on which to focus, the fight begins to look incredibly staged and the moves all take on the feel of being heavily choreographed. It doesn’t help when the violence begins to look comical, especially at a point where one combatant takes a knee to his jaw to be put on the ground, then gets kicked full force right across the face, and in the next shot is back up on his feet ready to get some more blows in.


All the way through Dispute the whole thing seems to be lit by a lone spotlight. There’s a bunch of fast editing and quick cuts to try and keep things interesting but in the end the sparseness of the production becomes very evident, showing the project for what it really is – two blokes in the woods at night pretending to hit and hurt each other whilst their mate points a camera at them for a little while.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film
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