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The Independent Critic

Daniella Alma
Joseph Arnone
Joseph Arnone (Based upon poem by Danielle Alma)


 "Adeline" a poetic and riveting short film 
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From its opening moments, Joseph Arnone's mesmerizing short film Adeline commands your attention and holds onto it for dear life. The film centers around a young woman, whom we spot in the film's opening shot digging away as if her life depends upon it, a fact that very well may be true. Based upon a poem by Daniella Alma, who also portrays the young woman in the film, Adeline is one of those rare films that seems to be simultaneously about life and death and everything in between. Adeline decides to dig up her past, quite literally, and reaches into the past to retrieve a book of her most intimate and revealing writings.

The story behind Adeline is rather simple, though how it unfolds is not. Adeline is a film with shifting moods, shifting sounds, shifting colors and, perhaps, even shifting intentions. As Adeline, Daniella Alma is absolutely hypnotic. She portrays both a gothic boldness and a turn of the century vulnerability that leaves you constantly wondering who she is and where this journey is taking her. Alma's performance draws you in long before she utters a word, but when she does utter a word she does so with heartfelt conviction and force. It's a rather remarkable performance given the film's rather modest eight-minute running time.

The film features the hauntingly wonderful "Ghost Song" by Max Ablitzer along with digital music composed by Christopher Arnone. While the film's shifting moods, colors and sounds are simultaneously unsettling and soothing, the editing is occasionally ever so slightly off the film's pace. This is a minor distraction in an otherwise beautifully constructed and photographed film that leaves breathless in moments and mesmerized in others.

For more information on Adeline, be sure to visit the film's Facebook page listed in the credits and check out Arnone's other work on his website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic