Galician at Midnight
7 Sept 2021
Martin Cainzos Sanmartin
Martin Cainzos Sanmartin
Pedro Brandariz, Lorena Yang
An intriguing, strange and surreal short film with a message. Galicia at Midnight is kind of a mess in a unique and almost endearing way. It tells the story of a strange TV broadcast in a different language that seems to warn of catastrophic events in the world. Naturally, the viewer is intrigued and attempts to learn more with the help of a friend. Sounds like a relatively simple idea? Yeah… not so much.
The acting performances are generally believable throughout the film. It is certainly not an acting-focused movie with the cinematography and general message as the main stars. However, their performances were solid enough to serve the films complex storyline. And, the idea could be quite brilliant when looked at a certain way. However, this is not what impacts the most.
The amount of camera techniques Director Martin Cainzos Sanmartin crams into the 12 minute 16 second running time is highly impressive. It is admirable for a filmmaker to go against the grain and create with a uniqueness and a true passion for their ideas. However, it left the movie feeling unsure of itself and of what it was trying to show the audience. This was a shame as a truthful and fascinating message may lie at the heart of the story, however, it is easily hidden behind these unnecessary and judicious camera tricks.
Sanmartin is clearly talented and enthusiastic about this film. Occasionally, the cinematography is tasteful and perfect for the moment with excellent, restrained camera techniques that serve the scene instead of taking it. In parts of the film, the sudden, cinematic madness is fantastic and effective. After all, crazy cinematic techniques are not an indicator of a bad film or filmmaker, in fact, far from it. However, the skill of the surreal in film must be worked on and Director Sanmartin is certainly the student, not the master.
Galician at Midnight is strange. I still cannot tell if it is wonderful in this way or a missed opportunity from an intriguing idea. There is a love for the camera and the process of making films embedded in the short. The playful camera techniques often have a kid-in-a-candy-store vibe. A love for this creation by the filmmaker is almost infectious and the way it is filmed forgiven (maybe even loved) as just a talented filmmaker having some fun. So, as a fan of many different film ideas, it is an interesting creation. Conside giving it a watch and try to make sense of it.