A note first before I begin once more on an extensive SLIFF 2016 post: I stated previously that I love Delmar. In the last post, I spoke about the Tivoli – tonight I want to touch on BlueBerry Hill. What a fantastical place. It is full of the stuff that a fanboy clutter bug such as myself could never get enough of. It has memorabilia, music, drinks (including Guiness on tap, reflecting STL’s glorious Irish roots). And, of course, the weird, wonderful zany things that populate the shelves make it so unique. The random stuffed lion, the carved pelican, and a myriad of other items that you wouldn’t expect to see is quite astounding.
I am currently standing at the bar, prior to the festival beginning this evening, because I mistakenly showed up nearly an hour early. However, there was no debate as to where I would go to spend the time. And, as it was just my luck, another person was early for the festival as well. He looked vaguely familiar, and at first I couldn’t place him. Finally, I figured it out (with a little help from IMDB). It was none other than Brian Thomas Smith, better known to most as the man that plays Zack on The Big Bang Theory. Turns out he is a St. Louis native, and he was in town to watch his film The Wedding Party. Who knew?
Anyways, this evening, I attended The Narrative Shorts – Thrillers competition, and once again it was a collection of shorts that were worthy of the festival. Whoever is in charge of selecting the shorts competitors at SLIFF is doing a great job. And here we go, on with the show!
This short is a perfectly slow build to a final reveal. There are not very many shorts that can show this kind of restraint throughout their run time (admittedly, only 11 minutes). And the final minute, including the “based on a true story reveal” is fantastic.
The movie is a young man (played by Miles Fisher) on his first day as a suicide hotline operator. It’s obvious that he is extremely nervous about his first job, as he stares at the old school rotary phone with dread and apprehension. His trainer momentarily leaves the room, and the phone rings for the first time. After some initial slip ups, it becomes obvious that the young man is very charming. He may be a bit too revealing, but he is obviously doing so out of the right place.
There is quite a bit of dark humor here, with a heavy undercurrent that something is wrong with the situation. You can’t quite determine what is going to happen, but you can feel the twist coming like a toothache – more of a deep throb of fear than anything else. When it eventually comes, you won’t be disappointed.
The acting is good. Mr. Fisher owns all aspects of his role, allowing us to easily fall into the charismatic cadence of his voice. The voice acting performed by the young lady on the phone (Taylor Bostwick) is superbly convincing.
Overall, I’m going to recommend this short very highly with an “A-“.
Check it out on IMDB!
A New Home (2016)
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"