09 March 2019 2168 Views

VIRAL VAULT: Man of the Hour is among the best Short Films Ever.

by James Murphy

MAN OF THE HOUR IS THE SHORT FILM OF A GENERATION..

 

It’s harder to write/ make and indeed, arguably to WATCH a good short film than their longer counterparts. One is reminded of the quotation: ‘Sorry I wrote such a long letter, could not be bothered writing a short one’ (paraphrase: credit to Cicero, Mark Twain, Sam Johnson and countless other literary / philosophical giants). My point is: as in writing, so in movies. Brevity, Clarity..they are great challenges to master and appreciate.

One does not gravitate, naturally, to short films. They get less airtime, fewer screenings and far less investment than they perhaps should, given that the opportunity is presented in the format to both train and showcase the best of tomorrow’s talents. There are of course festivals. 

And I had the privilege of watching one last year. And I enjoyed it so much that I revisit it, frequently. A thorough joy to watch and analyse: MAN OF THE HOUR is simply a  must watch. Especially with CANNES upon us soon!

The film won the “Best Short Film” Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2018, American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. There were 7 other films in the official selection for this category. This was the only one selected from the UK.

Synopsis: 

Gemma (Charlotte Ritchie) receives a mysterious invitation to the birthday party of an enigmatic millionaire, Jeremy (Ed White). She must pass herself off as Jeremy’s old friend and mingle with his glittering guests (Richard Durden, Oliver Chris, Tom Stourton). But Gemma cannot help but wonder who Jeremy is and why he has tasked her with such a peculiar job – there’s something more to him than meets the eye.

Logline:

An actress receives a mysterious invitation to the birthday party of an enigmatic millionaire. She must pass herself off as his old friend and mingle with his glittering guests.

Who is this gentleman and why has he tasked her with such a peculiar job?

Why Do I LOVE this so much? Well, at a glance:

  • It’s succinct yet substantial. Some truly innovative storytelling on display here.
  • There is an elegant yet efficient extension of small moments and character details to a satisfying whole.
  • There are twists within twists, keeping you guessing right until credits roll!
  • Production values seem strong, high gloss, big budget: there is a Hollywood glamour to the piece.
  • Multiple tones and shades are fused together with a magical competence: Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray via Richard Curtis/Gatsby/007. 
  • Beautifully shot, lit, edited and scored.
  • A talented, charismatic cast fill the screen in every scene: each and every one is a star! Look out for CHARLOTTE RITCHIE! 

If you get a chance: please do check it out. I highly recommend MAN OF THE HOUR!

Special Thanks: Linda and James at INQUISITIVE PICTURES.



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