Thursday, 9 October 2014


short films are usually very 'on the nose' when it comes to the visuals. if you only have 10-15 minutes to tell a story you want to tell it in as economic a way as possible. beginner filmmakers tend to tell the story through dialogue only and have the characters explain what we should be seeing, while more accomplished directors realise that film is a visual medium and tell the story with images. but it takes a certain level of talent and innovation to make a film that tells a story with what the audience doesn't see and doesn't hear.

for most of the film we don't see joshua's face; the camera lurks over his shoulder and the film cuts away every time we are about to catch a glimpse of what he looks like. similarly, joshua's narration bears seemingly no resemblence to what we're seeing, and doesn't really have any drive on the story. early conversations between joshua and his friend don't quite make sense at first, because we're not seeing the full picture. and then the film turns and we realise what the story is about and we realise what all those random moments were showing us and what joshua has been talking about the whole time. i don't want to reveal it here because the less you know about joshua going in the better, but it is pretty shocking.

what's great about this film is that the ending is not a random twist added onto a deliberately misleading narrative. on second viewing the intention and the direction of the story seem clear as day. and that's why the film works so well, because it hides it's dark secrets in plain sight. and in doing so and keeping the unimaginable horror of those unseen moments hidden away, the truth is even more jarring and disturbing that it otherwise would have been.

tim porter has done a fantastic job with joshua. it feels like it has been meticulously planned and worked out in order to deliver the story with maximum efficiency. the narrative style is a little difficult to get into at first but it needs to be. the film looks great too, and the central performances are fantastic. but don't take my word for it, you can watch the film right here...

Joshua from Tim Porter on Vimeo.

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