Lately we’ve seen the tendency in the works of young directors to go back in time and experiment with old techniques that today are quite surprising for the viewers who didn’t experience the originals. We’ve seen some really good silent movies made in the past five-six years, silent movies that managed to recreate that unique mood of storytelling based mainly on gestures and very few words. We’ve been lucky enough to see some really good experiments that quite frankly were more than a pleasant view for us, but an important lesson of technique and storytelling.
‘Jury Duty’ recreates the atmosphere of the 40’s, some difficult years if it is to look back, when the Second World War was developing in the whole world, and cinematography went through some rough times.
Matheus Ronn took a shot in the dark with this short film, and he absolutely made it big. When we read the synopsis we weren’t sure if this movie would have come close to what we had in mind, but after watching it we can say without any efforts that it’s one of the best experiments concerning old techniques we’ve seen in some time. The plot is intriguing – a young actress got murdered on stage during rehearsals; the criminal must be found, but whilst doing this, secrets from her past get unveiled in this investigation.
Using the cinematic technique of ultra exposing the characters and being able to see every micro expression due to the portrait set camera, this short took storytelling to a whole new level. We hear the story, and see the basic narrative, but the whole story relies in the micro expression and in the faces the characters are doing whilst doing their parts. Good part of the credit goes to the characters Nikki Tilmouth, Kassie Johnston, Chris Kohls, and C.J. Baker, making this short stand out. For twenty minutes we’ve been in 1941 – that’s how intense we lived 'Jury Duty', and that is the beauty and the precision of Matheus Ronn - to take you out of your zone and plant you in another world. Just like a good book will do!
Written by Vlad A. G