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Then, Again

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

2 Feb 2022

Film Reviews
Then, Again
Directed by:
Edward Laurence Thompson, Hannah Elizabeth Richardson
Written by:
Edward Laurence Thompson, Hannah Elizabeth Richardson
Starring:
Hannah Elizabeth Richardson
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An experimental short film about a young woman living by herself in a large mansion in the countryside.

 

Set in the mid nineteen-forties, this story has an unconventional narrative. Basically, the audience observes the woman (Richardson) as she repeatedly engages in the same various activities in and around her home. She eats in a big dining room that is filled with a large number of tables and chairs, she enjoys a cigarette, she listens to music or she is still and silent. Most notably, she leaves the house wearing a red coat and red shoes and goes, goes to a red telephone box where she tries again and again to make a phone call but to no avail. The heroine almost always wears a white dress and appears to be waiting for someone to arrive at the property and she seems to be sad and upset.

 

Save for some brief moments, the woman is the only person in the film and there is a constant feeling of loneliness and isolation. The narrative gives the impression that it moves back and forth through time and certain scenes seem to be a dream or a nightmare. The film does not openly explain what is going on and appears to be leaving the answers open to interpretation. Who is she? How did she end up in her current situation? What is she hoping for?

 

There is no dialogue and the woman barely utters a word throughout. Richardson delivers a strong and emotional performance as an isolated person who appears to be grieving. She convincingly expresses emotions of anger and frustration, especially when her character smashes a plate or when she removes her coat and shoes without care.

 

The mise-en-scene effectively brings the viewer back to the nineteen-forties and the music sounds like it is from that period and it is a joy to listen to. The film is beautifully directed and includes wonderful shots of nature. There are also creative lighting techniques. Particular praise goes to a mesmerising dancing scene that makes great use of dissolve editing techniques.

 

This drama explores the life of a troubled individual and has sinister moments. The narrative is told through pretty much repetitive actions and some viewers may struggle to understand the plot. Overall,the film is quite an appealing viewing experience, mainly thanks to the directing and Richardson's great performance.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film