For an artist, discussing universal themes such as life, death, afterlife, love and friendship can be seen as a starting point, a way to search for the inner voice inside the spectrum of basic knowledge that is not necessarily studied, but self reflected in different periods of their life. Starting with death and what comes after it may be a good place to begin the journey of inner and self discovery. Many of our great artists did this at some point in their career; let’s take for example Jack Kerouac, with his poem 'In Vain', where he transcends over the threshold of life and death, straight through the realization of the inutility of every little thing we do in our life: “The stars in the sky/In vain/The tragedy of Hamlet/ In vain/ The key in the lock/ In vain / The sleeping mother/ In vain/ The lamp in the corner/ In vain/ The lamp in the corner unlit/ In vain/ Abraham Lincoln/ In vain/ The Aztec empire/ In vain/ The writing hand: in vain/ (The shoetrees in the shoes/ In vain/ The window shade string upon/ the hand bible
/ In vain—/ The glitter of the green glass/ ashtray/ In vain/ The bear in the woods/ In vain/ The Life of Buddha/ In vain).”
So as in Kerouac’s poem, Ryan Neil Butler embarks into a journey of reclaiming the lost art of self prophecy, creating the backdrop of a world that is ruled by every man’s individual credo. The story has a deep meaning, but reaching the core of it is harder than one may expect. Based on our experience with this short, we can firmly say that is not that easy going, trying too much to impress through deep meanings, but failing at some point to deliver a simple message. The main character does quite an impressive role, providing some really distinctive pieces of dialogue lines that could have been way more powerful if the script was a little bit more explicit. After watching this short we’ve experienced the same feeling we did when we were reading Camilo Jose Cela’s 'Christ vs Arizona', the book that goes for 261 pages without a period – we understood things but we weren’t aware if they were the right ones, what the author really meant by that. Being such a case we aren’t sure where to go with this movie, but based on the fact that some of the lines are still ringing in our ears hours after watching it, we will definitely recommend it!
Reviewed by Vlad A.G.