Month: January 2015

Death of a Shadow (2012) Review | Jamie Daily

Death of a Shadow (Dood Van Een Schaduw) (2012)
85th Academy Awards 2013
4/5 Stars
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film (Tom Van Avermaet, Ellen De Waele).

“Death of a Shadow” is an interesting little short that escapes both time and reality.  A deceased World War I soldier, Nathan Rijckx (Matthias Schoenaerts) works for a man, stuck in a limbo between life and death, and photographs the dying to be displayed in a gallery of shadows.  He works to have a second chance at life and is motivated by a woman he met the day he was killed.   Sarah Winters (Laura Verlinden) tried to save his life.

He hates his work, but he is so close to completing it he can hardly stand it.  He peruses his options and tries to find the least repulsive death to photograph, while still trying to satisfy his employer’s taste in art and composition.  His last picture, however, proves to be very difficult and he must make a decision between his own happiness and that of the woman he is smitten with.

The film is both a period piece and something outside of reality.  It is creative and well shot, although it is a lot of story to put into a short.  The production value of the short is really astounding.  It is very artistic and emotional, however they didn’t completely match the communication of that emotion with the production design.  That is a small complaint, however, for such a well made short.

Henry (2012) Review | Jamie Daily

Henry (2012)
85th Academy Awards 2012
5/5 Stars
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film (Yan England).
Watched September 8, 2014.

“Henry” is an excellent short, but not for the faint at heart.  A French-Canadian addition to the short film category, the dramatic, slightly melodramatic piece explores the effects of alzheimers from the perspective of the sick.

My Grandmother had alzheimers.  It is a devastating disease.  Henry (Gérard Poirier) in this film is trapped by his own memories and unable to reconcile them with reality.  He doesn’t know the people or places surrounding him and instead he is constantly searching for his beloved Maria (Louise Laprade), an exceedingly talented musician whom he met during the war.

What could potentially become an over the top piece that focuses more on the melodrama or injustice is instead a clean, albeit scary representation of the confusion those suffering from alzheimers might face.  If you have someone close to you suffering from the disease, it might not be the best short for you.  Otherwise, I would consider the twenty minutes of my life spent viewing the short well spent.