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Ten Minutes

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(Spoiler Alert)

Ten Minutes (2002) by Ahmed Imamovic was awarded “Best Short Film” in Europe in 2002.  I’m not exactly sure where the award was distributed from but it was well deserved.

The movie is about a Japanese man touring in Rome and a Bosnian boy and his family in a town just an hour away in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.  Both of the characters have completely different stories but the point of the film is to show their lives and how they contrast within 10 minutes.  The Japanese man is a tourist in Rome and takes photos and immediately gets them a developed at a camera shop that claims it can develop film in just 10 minutes.  After the man drops off the film, you have the shot of him walking outside of the store and he stands under a clock which says it’s 11:50.  This sets the character in the time frame of what the film is meant to evoke.  This is only 2 minutes and 26 seconds into the film.  Once the shot of the clock in Rome is shown, another clock appears but in a completely different environment.  Suddenly the viewer is thrown into an entirely different setting and you’re forced to adjust after only wondering whether or not the Japanese guy’s film is going to be developed in such a short amount of time.  The clock is really different too.  It’s clearly a house clock and then we’re emerged into the Bosnian family’s house and their lifestyle is already apparent to the viewer.  The Bosnian family’s story is about their oldest son (who appears to be between the ages of 7-10) who goes outside of their house to grab fresh water which only seems to come every now and then on the back of a truck.  The boy walks through the little community and appears to know everyone and is loved and cared for.  Once the boy grabs water, there is an attack and he struggles to run to his house and dodges anyone who tries to help him.  Finally, he makes it into his house and as he does, someone tries to stop him before he finds his family (his mother, father, and baby sibling) dead in their home.  After this happens (about 8 minutes and 27 seconds in), the clock appears again and it’s been 10 minutes.  Then, the viewer is sprung back to Rome and surprised when the man’s film is finished after that frame of time.  This movie is moving, to say the least and portrays the idea of how 10 minutes somehow could be something completely simple, and 10 minutes somewhere else could be completely life changing for the worst.

This film was incredible.  The comparison of two different worlds really plays into effect.  I thought the director picked two different sides of the spectrum.  As a viewer, it was easy to familiarize myself with the man in Italy and taking photos and being a tourist and trying to understand the locals as they try to understand him.  The way the rest of the movie went after the first few minutes was completely unpredictable.  I was really unsure of where it was going.  It was very sad because this is what happens.  We’re all living such different lives in the world, we don’t know what else is going on in someone else’s that can be significant and sad.  This movie really touched me.  I also really liked how both stories had different contrast in it’s environment.  The man in Italy was walking around on a sunny, beautiful day in Italy.  And the boy’s day was dreary and grey, very lonely and poor.  I also liked how I felt like a 3rd character because this was what I was doing in this particular time frame, watching a film.  It’s so easy to misconstrue and forget that there is so much out in the world going on, despite what’s going on in my own world.  I believe this film truly deserved an award because the story was impressive and eye-opening.  I’d recommend seeing it to anyone.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 25, 2011 at 1:27 am

Please!

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(Spoiler Alert)

Please! is a short film that was directed, written, and produced by Paul Black in 1999.  It was the winner of the Best Live Action film at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.  A winner of the Audience Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival.  It also won the British Academy Award (BAFTA).  This movie also stars Gerard Butler and was a film he did before he gained fame from The Phantom of the Opera and 300.

This film is about a writer whose life as essentially fallen apart after his wife leaves him with their child.  The man comes to his wife’s door and tries to win her back and she agrees as long as he gets his book published.  The man finally gets his book published and is accepted back into his wife and child’s lives, only to have screwed up only minutes after.

All throughout the film, the man (who is played by Gerard Butler) carries around a gun and somehow ends up in these moments where he threatens killing himself.  Sometimes it’s when he’s by himself, or when he’s around people.  He does it around his wife, his future publicist, and someone on the street, but obviously never goes through with it.  Carrying the gun around finally backfires on him when his child accidentally pulls the trigger and shoots him (Butler) in the stomach.  The film ends pretty abruptly after this happens and the black screen rolls right as his daughter screams and points and a man tries to help him.

I really liked this film but the character really annoyed me.  He just acted extremely pathetic and I was almost unsurprised when he ended up getting shot at the end.  I almost felt betrayed though, because during the whole film, I wanted things to work for him and finally when they did, it completely backfired and I felt as if I’d been shot after working so hard to be happy for him.   The gun almost was like another character because it was so frequently brought out and the power of the word “please” was the only thing stopping it.  The gun was also used frequently to sway people to say what Butler’s character wanted to hear and talk about.  It was difficult for me to get into this film from the start, but overall I thought it was a good story and something that’s almost typical to a lot of recent films, but portrayed well in just a 15-minute film.  It was also interesting watching a short with a familiar actor.  I imagine it’s difficult for a feature film actor to work with a much shorter script and filming during a shorter time.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm