Shannon: Today’s review is on Dirty Books, a short film directed by Zachary Lapierre. This short film follows David (played by Noah Bailey) who is the editor of a school newspaper. When the principal, Dr. Bradley (played by Timothy J. Cox) decides to take the newspaper in a different direction - electronically - David decides to take matters into his own hands to make the paper great again and keep it timeless.
What were you first thoughts on this short film David?
David: My first thoughts were pretty simple - I want to see more of Timothy Cox in something. This is our third short that has featured him, and his parts never seem to be long enough. He is very good, particularly at saying things with emotion without seeming too much like he is overacting.
As far as the plot, I thought it was interesting. As two people that have been writing electronically for over a year, I didn’t really see what David’s (not me, the character) fuss was all about as far as letting the paper go electronic. However, after I mused on the fact that I much prefer hard copies of books to electronic, I figured there were at least some people that probably prefer their news the old fashioned way.
I will say this though - I didn’t really like the inclusion of the journal very much. Did you really gather what was going on with it Shannon?
Shannon: I know what you mean, I think the only purpose of the journal being there was so David could be caught in the end. The whole back and forth between David and his friend who owned the journal was a little strange though. As for the story itself, I too thought it was interesting. For me the other two shorts we watched from Timothy Cox had more of an impact on me, I thought this particular one was just fun and entertaining. A young boy who doesn’t want his paper to be turned into a blog.
I for one am all about blogs, as I do not read the newspaper ever. I do however prefer books to electronic books, like you, but audiobooks over both since we are so busy keeping up with movie watching and reviewing. What did you think about the interactions between David and Charlotte (played by Ansley Berg)?
David: I liked what few interactions there were. I understand that this was a short, but for me it was a much better interaction than the one between David and his friend. There just seemed to be more there. With an extra scene or two we could have possibly seen that the tension was formed because of a mutual affection, or sexual tension, or even just a respect for the other’s craft. Instead, it falls a bit flat on the development of their characters, and instead is a basic point and shoot conflict.
I did like the middle section of the movie that allows David to essentially traverse around and continue to write the different stories for the newspaper. There are some really good camera shots in there for being an independent short. I also liked the setting of it, and the way that the words were presented in voice over. Actor Noah Bailey, who plays David, gives me just the right amount of angst in his voice. Did you like his performance Shannon?
Shannon: I enjoyed the middle section of the film too. Mostly, it was because of the music choices. It was fun and upbeat as David played the pranks and wrote about himself in the paper. I will say, that I thought the pranks were great. They were much more fun to watch than the ones in Fist Fight, but that’s a whole other type of film. As for Noah Bailey, I think he played his role well. The teenager that is A) about to lose the only thing he loves and B) wants to make a name for himself in high school. Typical feat for films based in a high school.
What did you think about the ending? He just walks out of the school through a crowd of people staring at him. I don’t really feel like he got the attention that he was going for, but what did you gather from those few moments?
David: I kind of felt like they were going for a big moment that didn’t fully develop. That’s ok, because it could also be interpreted as a metaphor for the different ways we all go through high school. Sometimes even the most popular people feel intensely alone, and other times, it’s the newspaper nerds that have all the eyes on them.
Well, I think that Dirty Books is a short that showed some potential overall. With some further development and script work, along with further scenes that allow the characters to become themselves, the film could be much better. My final grade for this one is going to be a “C”. What about you Shannon?
Shannon: I think I’m going to go with an “okay” rating for this one.
Thanks to Timothy for yet another great short film suggestion. The IMDB page for this film can be found here and the youtube link is here. Like Fitch Fort Films on Facebook as well! Thanks for reading!
David and Shannon write about movies.