Spooky Gillespie’s review published on Letterboxd:
R/Letterboxd Discord ShortFest: #12
One of my all time favourite shorts, maybe my favourite.
To begin with, this is just a great formal exercise. The idea is to take an image and to explore beyond it. We've all done it, looked at a photo and thought about the context around it. Why that face? Why that stance? What are they looking at?
Here, an evocative and enigmatic photograph is recreated and expanded. But, this short never betrays the impact of the photograph. It expands it but only ever feels like a continuation. The continuance of tone is perfect and every element is so precisely deployed. But it does not feel technical or constructed: it feels effortless.
An unbroken shot, a panoramic movement, is used to create the feel of a living photograph. It is still a moment in time and while we now have the whole image, we still only have questions. We start to see what they see but what they see is marked by moments of nothingness, the liminal things (overwhelmed with perfect sound design: the wind is a constant but things also creak and groan). It always feels off, twisted and wrong.
And then we see precisely what the people in the photo are looking at. It is deeply upsetting but gives only more questions. This is a perfect expansion on ambiguity (creating more rather and not taking any away) and a lovely illustration of what film can do. We get answers but still only have questions. This shows how our want to see beyond the frame will never be satiated.
We move like Dreyer's camera, a Godlike pan and a passionless, flat stare. To get answers is supposed to empower but we feel completely powerless, overwhelmed by mystery.