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The Independent Critic

Dre Swain, Alex Marshall-Brown, and David Carey Foster
Nico Raineau
9 Mins.

 "Brix and the Bitch" Screens at HollyShorts 
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Writer/director Nico Raineau was a recent top ten finalist on the fourth season of HBO's Project Greenlight, a fact that you won't find particularly surprising when you catch his latest short film, Brix and the Bitch, a 9-minute action short that recently screened at the acclaimed HollyShorts  Film Festival and has found a considerable amount of success on the film festival circuit including an astounding Best of Fest and six other prizes at the Idyllwild International Film Festival along with prizes for Best Short Film at Atlanta Independent Film Festival, Best LGBT Film at Berlin Independent Film Festival, Best Action Short Film at Atlanta Underground Festival and others.

The film centers around one woman, Bitch (Dre Swain, iCarly), a woman trapped by a serious debt with fighting in an underground, seedy nightclub. Her only chance to win is to defeat the one person she refuses to hurt (Alex Marshall-Brown, The Hateful Eight).

Brix and the Bitch is that rare action flick with emotional resonance, an emotional core that largely comes courtesy of the very real and human connection with Bitch and the woman she loves yet must defeat if she is to escape her seemingly insurmountable debt to her bookie.

Swain and Marshall-Brown are tremendous here, while David Carey Foster (Dexter) is strong in support. John Gardiner's lensing is gritty yet intimate, while Melissa Lyon's production design gives the film a Fight Club aura infused with a streak of humanity.

At right around nine minutes in length, Brix and the Bitch doesn't waste a lot of time yet Raineau does a tremendous job of telling a quick, complete story that grabs you and doesn't let you go until the closing credits are rolling. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic