Roger Allam as an ageing rocker called Quentin with stagefright? Yes please. Danny Stack’s Trading Licks sees him at a particular low point as unable to play, there’s no money coming into the house and his wife has just had to call the plumber to fix a broken toilet. The issue of payment, in kind as it turns out, sets Quentin off on the route to potential salvation but it being Allam, there’s much surliness in the old rocker which means it isn’t quite that easy – an entertaining bit of fun, not least with Justin Edwards’ cheeky plumber in support.
Something that shorts often do well is a new take on rom-coms, the condensing of any kind of love story suiting the form (when done well) and Carriages is such a one. Adam Palmer’s film follows the nerdish James as he tries to meet-cute the girl he sees everyday on the train platform (clearly we’re in pre-Metro times) but is foiled by a whole range of things, but mainly his own wimpishness. It’s all appealingly done, I really liked the sceptical work colleagues offering almost-helpful advice, and the switcheroo of the ending is neatly done.
Written by Janette Innes and directed by Ethan J Greene, Mindset: A Grimm Ending sees Red Riding Hood and the Woodcutter as you’ve never seen them before as they encounter Cinderella and Prince Charming in the wood – it turns out they’re actually aliens and Cinders may be in more trouble than she thinks… Cheap but cheerful.
A brief work-out comedy sketch from Simon Wegrzyn (who is sadly covering up his ginger hotness here) who won many fans among my friends with his work in Grimm’s Tales earlier this year.
There have perhaps been too many strong and interesting takes on the ‘hopelessly in space’ trope (cf Sunshine, Gravity) that a short really needs to have something definitive to say or show to make it stand out and sadly, Joseph Briffa’s The Harvest doesn’t quite manage it. A short clip can be seen above where Kate Dickie and Paul Clarkson thrash things out but by and large, it all a bit baffling obtuse. The full film can be seen here.