Watch Me Disappear – Review (The Shortest Nights)

The Shortest Nights: All In A Day’s Work

Who needs a briefcase when you’ve got a gun?
Gangsters, spies, coppers and chancers get to work in this fun and thrilling selection of films that turn the 9-5 on its head!

This review is one of several I’ll be doing from The Shortest Nights programme. To briefly introduce the event on the 21st of June Short Sighted Cinema are launching an all day celebration of short films in London. It will contain seven new programmes of shorts for people to enjoy (click here for details). In the run up to the 21st I’m going to take a look at a selection of films from these programmes in order to give you a flavour of the event. Today I take a look at Watch Me Disappear from the All In a Day’s Work programme…

Watch Me Disappear is a piece of work which is focused almost entirely upon form and atmosphere. It’s almost refreshingly disregards any real semblance of narrative in favour of creating a small jolt of film. Something that at once feels very familiar and rooted in its genre, whilst also having a contemporary flair that has given it a certain cool detachment and offhandedness.

What’s interesting here is that the film has boiled down a piece of narrative into about 40 seconds making it in many ways more closely resemble a music video rather than a short. Ultimately because the film doesn’t have any sort of story to speak of it relies entirely upon its visuals, and whilst they are effective, they can’t make the film linger in the memory for long enough to be truly effective. What they do act like is a calling card to launch this film or at least its director onto bigger things. It reminded me of a great short by Fabrice Mathieu called In the Shadows¹ which used genre and a simple idea to communicate a vision for a larger project.

Watch Me Disappear is highly effective at building atmosphere and instantly hooking a viewers attention. It has a ‘cool’ vibe to it which works in conjunction with the programmes set-pieces of espionage, gangsters and police whilst also lifting the often dated aspects of the genre and stripping it back to its bare bones. What I want to see next is a longer film set in this same world, it would be fascinating to see how they develop narrative in this style.

Stay tuned for more reviews in the lead up to The Shortest Nights!

Shortest Nights

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