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average rating is 2 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Mar 3, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Scott Kingsnorth
Written by:
Scott Kingsnorth
Emmie Rhodes, Samuel Marlow

Making films is such a really easy thing to do, innit? In fact, it’s so easy that I’m surprised more people aren’t out there giving it a shot; scripting their dreams, grabbing a camera and committing their ideas to film. And what about short films, eh? They’re even easier to make, aren’t they? So easy, in fact, that anyone can do it. All you have to do to make a short film is to come up with an idea, just one, and then film a small scene about it. It doesn’t even need to be that long, a couple of minutes maybe, and there doesn’t even need to be any dialogue if you don’t want there to be. Yeah, of course you’ll be able to get across what you want to say in that short, tiny, miniscule amount of time, without any words. Don’t worry, everyone is bound to understand it. Everyone is bound to love it. It’s easy – just go for it. And so, dear audience, today for your consideration we have Raspberry.


Written, directed and shot by Scott Kingsnorth, Raspberry is one of those films. Coming in with a total runtime of just under two-minutes there’s not a lot of time, space or anything else for Kingsnorth to get his point across. Luckily for him though, his point is not all that involved, and to be fair it’s not all that subtle either, leaving the way open for a quick exchange of attitudes before it’s all over and we’re left to go our separate ways again. So, just what is it that Raspberry has to offer?


Well, to start with there’s nearly thirty seconds worth of credits to lead us in, which along with the extra fifteen seconds of credits at the end, only leaves us with about one minute and fifteen seconds worth of actual film left to watch. Within that window we get to see a woman (Rhodes) sitting on a bench, in black and white. She looks like a bit of a schoolmarm, what with her rimmed glasses and her stern look, and it seems as though she probably isn’t very good at sharing or socialising. When another person – a gentleman – then decides to take a load off and sit on the bench, the woman doesn’t like it and so she shoots him a fierce look. Unperturbed, the gentleman (Marlow) shoots a look straight back at the schoolmarm and a Sergio Leone style face-off begins as the two sets of eyes are trained on one another with no sign of giving way. Eventually, with there seemingly being no other way out of the deadlock, the woman sticks her tongue out and blows a raspberry at the man before he turns around and does the exact same thing back. Fin.


And so that’s it. That’s all we’ve got. That’s all there is. If you wanted to – and I mean really wanted to – you could try, I suppose, to link what’s going on in the film to the real world. You could try to say that the characters represent their respective sexes within wider society, and that the woman here, as in the wider world, is protecting her personal space from the inevitable invasion of men and is showing her disgust at the entitlement men have to all spaces, even those which surround women. You might try to say that the film is a commentary on modern society and the current generation, where actual face-to-face communication has broken down so much that it seems insults are the norm and the art of conversation has been lost. You could try to say that this is Kingsnorth’s two fingers up to the Oscars. You could try and say a lot of things, if you wanted to, about Raspberry but none of them would be right because in reality it has none of these things in it. It is merely a very short film about two people blowing raspberries at each other – it tells you right in the title – and that’s it.


However, if that’s all that Kingsnorth wanted to show, then he’s managed it pretty well. In two-minutes he’s demonstrated that he can select, shoot and edit his shots with a degree of skill. He’s managed to offer a sort of characterisation through the look and wardrobe of the two leads and he’s offered some measure of directorial style by choosing to film in black and white. The story, for what it is, hangs together and does create a narrative, while the music from Matt Williams provides a throughline as well as a sense of atmosphere to the audience. Which means that while Raspberry may not be very much, it is at least something. Just who would want to watch it though, is another question entirely.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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