Golden – Short Film Review

Sometimes short films take on too much: There are too many twists and turns in the narrative; characters undergo radical changes before we even understand where they’re come from; or else, there’s a huge build up with no conclusion, leaving the whole thing feeling a little bit like an extended trailer. Simon Ball’s coming of age tale, Golden, is not one of these films.

What’s nice about this film is it does big things with very little. We follow a group of four children as they play and wander through a series of desolate, semi-urbanised rural landscapes. Relationships are established firmly and fairly quickly, but nothing feels rushed or forced: The whole story revolves around an adventure through the country side and a series of political exchanges between the kids, but remarkably, all of this is achieved without the aid of dialogue. Francesco Corazzi‘s quirky score does much to aid this ‘show-rather-than-tell’ strategy of story telling. Complimenting the film’s more elusive moments with a series of percussive sounds, these jumpy clatterings eventually figure as the drum track to a climactic instrumental, with the film’s soundtrack coming together at the same time that its story does. There’s also something to be said for the Edward Vijayavargiya’s cinematography, which is quietly confident in its smooth and slow tracking shots, and which pays careful attention to shape, composition and form in its framing, reflecting the minimalism found elsewhere in the short.

Ultimately, all of Golden‘s elements work together to create a carefully crafted whole. ‘Less is more’, as the saying goes, and here, that seems to be quite true.

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This post is part of a series on Greenhorn Short Film Festival. You can read my review of other short films screened at Greenhorn, as well as a review of the festival itself, here:

Greenhorn Short Film Festival

Tired of Swimming

Pussy People

Golden

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